A Path to Indigenous Self Determination and Success
By Spirit River L. Striped Wolf, BA – Policy Studies (Class of 2021)
The Indigenous workforce potential could add $27.7 Billion to the Canadian economy, yet racial exclusion from the labour force prevents this. Other ethno-cultural minority groups use their cultivation of social capital to cope with their racial exclusion from the labour market, and so this paper explores why Indigenous people are not using similar coping strategies. In the discussion, it is realized that social capital requires trust, and due to the subjugation process, Indigenous people are unable to actively cultivate social capital and trust. Specifically, the poor socioeconomic conditions brought on by economic deprivation, as well as shame based trauma inflicted upon by physical and psychological violence from the cultural dispossession process of subjugation. The mass shame-proneness created in Indigenous communities has negatively impacted the creation of trust and relationships, and therefore hinders the cultivation of social capital. This paper suggests that individual and early childhood interventions are the best means of reversing shame, thus effectively reducing the harmful ongoing genocide of Indigenous people.
Keywords: racial exclusion, values, human development, social capital, entrepreneurship, economic development, empathy, shame, guilt, Indigenous