Topic 1 – Identity and languages.
3 documents to better understand the context of multiculturalism in Canada.(and the picture)
FACTS ABOUT CANADA
- Canada is the second largest country in the world,. Canada´s national motoo ¨from sea to sea¨derives from its geographical position, from the Atlantic Ocean to the pacific Ocean.
- Most people live along the southern border in cities like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa.
- English is the most spoken language, by nearly 60% of the population, then the French, spoken by some 20%, and the remaining 20% speak aboriginal languages
- A bilingual country: The presence of two languages in Canada is explained by the history of colonization. The French were the first to colonize the area around Quebec, while the british settled in the northern and western regions. The Federal governement made French an official language of Canada along with English as a way to fight against separatist ideas in the second part of the 20th century.
English and French vs native languages: The Canadian government wanted the Aboriginal children to become English-speakers, but also to convert them into christianity. This is an example of a policy of ¨forced assimilation¨. The children were forced to leave their families for many years and were forbidden to speak their native language. These documents raise several issues and cover several notions:
Seats and forms of power/Spaces and Exchanges: English and French versus native languages:
- To what extend is a language a form of control ?
- Can identity exist without a language?
- Should a dying language be protected?
- To what extend can Canada be considered a multicultural country?
Topic 2 – Borders – Open Spaces/new spaces
Borders delimit nations, but who decides on them? the question of the ownership of land is a complex issue. Does the land belong to anyone? If so, who does the land belong to? And by which right? These are the questions that Canadians are faced with.
When it comes to land and land rights, the Inuits have a different point of view from other nations. For them, there is no such thing as borders. Land is not something that belongs to an individual, land but must be shared, protected and unspoiled and their way of life preserved. They want the right to profit from the Artic´s ressources but the superpowers do not share the same views…
Global warming has opened up the Northwest Passage in the Artic Sea.This passage did not use to be navigable in winter but because of global warming and the melting of polar ice, it could soon be navigable all year long, which would make the Artic region easily accessible for the exploitation of its natural ressources. All five bordering nations (Canada, Danemark, Norway, Russia, the USA) have had plans to explore the region for years (rich in gas and oil ressources). But the land belong to the Inuits. This race for the exploration of the Artic´s natural ressources would be desastrous for the Inuits, but also for wildlife
Responsible Artic eco tourism Polar tourism was slow to start, but is now a popular and rapidly-growing industry that is expanding in terms of tourists, tour operators, diverse recreational pursuits, geographic scope, and seasons of use. Arctic economies have seen it evolve from an incidental activity to a vital sector upon which they increasingly rely. This has been particularly true for newly enfranchised indigenous people of the Arctic seeking self-sufficiency, and for gateway cities in the southern hemisphere eager to realize the economic benefits of Antarctic tourism.
Seats and forms of power/ Spaces and Exchanges : Land and borders:
- To what extent are the 5 power nations entitled to the ressources of the Artic Circle?
- How has the land shaped its people?
- .Are borders a good thing?
- Is a border a final frontier?