Interaction between government officials and Native people, past and present
Agger, Helen O.
Primary factors which influenced interactions between Native people and government officials began with the emergence of British mercantilism, capitalism, and colonialism. A conjunction of these economic and political variables with beliefs about racial superiority, a perceived mission to convert all non-Christians to Christianity, and conclusions based on studies by social Darwinians and eugenicists resulted in behavioral modes characterized by paternalism toward, fear of, or hatred against the Native people. These negative behaviors became reinforced by Native people's responses, that is, secondary factors, as they attempted to cope with the changing milieu. Policies formulated by government officials, reflecting the values of the dominant culture of which they are the product, have largely failed to protect the interests of Native people. Examples of this negligence on the part of officials appeared in the events which surrounded the hydro-electric power project of northern Manitoba.