Indigenous residents of Canada who were forced to use European names for official documents are now entitled to “reclaim” their traditional names. In this way, the Canadian government wants to condemn the history of cultural assimilation. This announcement comes in two weeks The remains of 215 indigenous children have been found On the grounds of a former boarding school in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
“Canadian colonial heritage has for far too long disrupted naming practices and recognition of aboriginal family connections,” said Mark Miller, Minister of Aboriginal Services. According to him, the new policy should ensure that the indigenous peoples restore the “dignity of their original names.” After discovering the remains of 215 Aboriginal children on the grounds of an assimilation school, Canada focuses on the country’s brutal colonial past.
“Traditional names given to Aboriginal children carry a deep cultural meaning. But for many First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, these precious names have been robbed by colonialism,” said Canadian Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino.
The policy will apply to all individuals from Indigenous backgrounds, not just boarding school survivors. Many people have been unsure of their traditional names being used in official documents for years.
A few months ago, Canadian journalist Ka’nhehsí:io Deer decided to return to her traditional name after years of using her English name “Jessica” in a professional context. “I am proud of my name, even though my name is always difficult to spell correctly. In addition, the colon is not recognized in a Canadian passport, and cannot be used in an email address or in a name on social media.”
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