Christine Nagy

Christine Nagy

What Part of the Word ‘Identity’ Don’t You Understand?
Accounting for Historical Canadian Events Impacting Identity

ABSTRACT
Certain events in Canadian history have disadvantaged whole groups of people or provided reasons for them to feel excluded from Canadian society. This paper explore several key events and policies – the Royal Proclamation of 1763; internments; the Indian Act; the residential schools system; official bilingualism and biculturalism; and multiculturalism and examines the impact these events had on the Canadian identity and how the political outcomes of the events either exacerbated or reduced that impact. The author shows that in some cases Canadian identity is state imposed through politics and in other cases created by the people through the conflicts themselves. Fundamental to this examination is a discussion of what causes public policy makers to create a public policy or react politically, who decides when politics is required, what drives the need for politics, and whether politics results from a perceived need or is a response to public conflicts and controversy.

RÉSUMÉ
Certains événements dans l’histoire du Canada ont défavorisé des groupes entiers et leur ont donné raison de se sentir exclus de la société. Cet article analyse ces évènements et leurs conséquences politiques : la proclamation royale de 1763, les camps d’internements, la Loi sur les Indiens, les écoles résidentielles, le bilinguisme et finalement, le multiculturalisme. En examinant les conséquences politiques de ces événements sur l’identité canadienne, l’auteure montre comment l’identité canadienne est parfois imposée par l’État à travers certaines lois, et comment – de façon surprenante – l’identité canadienne est parfois crée par les conflits eux-mêmes.

KEYWORDS

History, Identity, Politics

Biography
Christine is a ‘mature’ student, is married with two teenage children and works full-time for the federal government, so has been taking her undergraduate degrees one or two courses at a time for many, many years.  The Capstone course is her final course in her BA in Canadian Studies.  She likes to learn anything about Canada, but is especially interested in issues surrounding identity and culture.

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