Provide and support a point of view about the effects of imperialism on Aboriginal people using the following sources: Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Northern Cheyenne; Duncan Campbell Scott. Address the following quote:  Why shouldn’t Indians be assimilated into North American society? I see it as the only solution to their problem; they must stop thinking of themselves as a separate nation and take an active role in Canadian life on an individual basis, not continually distance themselves and hope to somehow return to their old ways of life.

The effects of imperialism on Aboriginal people have been inhumane, to say the least. Imperialism expects Aboriginal people to conform to the imperialist culture or die. Aboriginal culture is disrespected and dismissed as unimportant. As a result, imperialism has not hesitated to strip Aboriginal people not only of their traditions, but also of their land, their economic well-being, and their political sovereignty.

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The sources you provided help to illustrate the damaging effects of imperialism on Aboriginal people. The quote from Ben Nighthorse Campbell shows the indigenous point of view, which holds that native people are suffering from oppression under imperialism.

It is difficult to comprehend the magnitude of the atrocities—intentional, neglectful, or accidental perpetuated on Indian people by the conquering culture, and later by the very government that assumed responsibility for their protection.

—Ben Nighthorse Campbell. Northern Cheyenne

Ben Nighthorse Campbell’s words also show that even after imperialist powers become more progressive, democratic governments continue to abuse and neglect the Aboriginal people in their nation.

Another perspective, that of Duncan Campbell Scott, argues for assimilation of indigenous people.

I want to get rid of the Indian problem ... Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic and there is no Indian question and no Indian department.

—Duncan Campbell Scott, Department of Indian Affairs Deputy superintendent of Indian Affairs 1913–1932

As the Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Scott refused to acknowledge the right of Aboriginal people’s sovereignty and autonomy. Instead, he wanted them to blend into the dominant culture of Canada, so they were no longer culturally or politically distinct.

Although you did not mention the speaker of the final quote you included in your question, it’s clear that the last source supports Scott’s view of assimilation as well. This individual’s point of view holds that Aboriginals have no legitimate reason to want to retain cultural traditions. This perspective is inherently disrespectful and helps to contribute to the countless atrocities enacted against First Nations communities, such as the abuse that took place at Canadian residential schools until fairly recently.

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