Enemy Aliens In Canada

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When Canada joined the Great War, minorities were still not treated the same as white Canadians. Canadian policies were tainted with racism during the period of World War I. Those designated as “enemy aliens”, Blacks, Asians, and Aboriginals experienced racism and discrimination on the homefront. “Enemy aliens” were people who posed no real threat to the safety of Canada, but were simply of the wrong ethnic origin. They were treated with suspicion and discrimination. Schools took the German language out of curricula as Germany was a Central Power, an official enemy of Canada. Although this may have been the case, the German language was not the enemy, the country was the enemy. Internment camps were established to keep the so called “enemy…show more content…
It was believed that they were a danger to the peaceful citizens residing in Canada. There were not eight thousand people conspiring with enemy countries to destroy Canada as that kind of conspiracy would be easily detected. If you were not interned, you would be forced to carry identification papers everywhere you went or face arrest. “Enemy aliens” had to report to authorities on a regular basis and follow strict rules that applied only to them. All of this was sanctioned by the War Measures Act of 1914. “At the outset of war in August 1914, the Canadian government quickly enacted the federal War Measures Act (WMA). The Act’s sweeping powers permitted the government to suspend or limit civil liberties in the interest of Canada’s protection, including the right to incarcerate “enemy…show more content…
There was a language barrier for non English speakers in the military as everything was almost exclusively in English. There was no attempt at translation, which put the First Nations at a huge disadvantage. At first, the First Nations people were not even supposed to fight this war. The government’s policy was to forbid Aborginals from participating in the war as they were not seen as legal citizens of Canada, but rather wards of the state. Under the Indian Act, all full blooded First Nations were considered to be wards of the state. Essentially, they were considered to be like children in need of a guardian. The reason behind not allowing full Aboriginal participation in the war was racist as it was comparing them to people unable to care for themselves in an effective manner. When those First Nations soldiers who did serve returned from the war, they expected to be treated the same as all other soldiers, but this was not the case. “Federal policy extended many post-war benefits to Aboriginal verterans, but not as many as those accorded non-aboriginals” (Government of Canada). Even though they fought the same war, they were not entitled to all the same rewards when they returned. They were equal overseas, but not when they returned to their home. After using Aboriginals for their skills in the field, once victorious, their government

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