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By the end of the Victorian period hardly a people remained on the face of the earth whose social structure culture and basic way of life had not been more or less violently disrupted -Cell Imperial Conscience1 When the first explorers reported that they had reached the Pacific coast they mentioned that there were inhabitants already occupying the territory Although sometimes reluctant to even bother reporting on the Native peoples the explorers stated that it wasnt worth looking into the cultures of these people2 This attitude of ignorant explorers laid the groundwork for prejudicial preconception of the future settlers that ultimately resulted in assimilation One conclusion that white men made was that the Natives would eventually annihilate themselves because they were not a self-sufficient nation This assumption has proved to be faulty in that through all the turmoil that the Aboriginals of British Columbia have suffered through racism reserve systems residential schools and prohibition of practicing their cultural traditions they have survived and in fact have prospered and continue to prosper in the present day Colonization During the colonization period of the 1800s settlers started to fill up Britains western colony The gold rush enhanced the popularity of the colony and the settlers became preoccupied with its wealth to deal with themselves adapting to the rights of the Natives and instead were pushed aside and European assimilation began3 The settlers were told of the extreme racial differences and beliefs and decided that the only theirs were valid They saw the Native culture and spiritual beliefs as heathenistic and barbaric nonetheless there was the odd settler that saw the cultures of the Northwest Coast to be astounding Overall the settlers knew that if they were going to dominate the colony they would have to constrain the Natives and rid them of their culture Assimilation Before British Columbia reached provincial status in 1871 the
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