Should I Bother?

Every day, over 300,000 children are used for fighters, cooks, suicide bombers, human shields, spies and for sexual purposes. These children are child soldiers. Recently, we learned about the atrocities commuted towards these thousands of children, and the horrible quality of life that they have. Some soldiers are as young as mine years old, and they are forced or tricked to fight their countries conflicts. Children are still recruited in over 100 countries, and 40% of them are girls. These young girls are mostly raped, or given as wives to commanders. That is something nobody should ever have to go through. Those who join the forces by free will join due to pressure, or belief that they will receive food and security. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The children soldiers receive an inadequate amount of food, and their basic needs are hardly met. They are forced to hurt their neighbours, and sometimes even their own families. Over 2 million children have been killed due to the use of children as soldiers, and 6 million have been seriously injured or disabled. As Canadians, it is our job to help them. We can make a difference by becoming more educated,  and learning about the realities of the situation. We can also donate to charities and campaigns that make it their goal to free the children soldiers. However, there are things that are being done in order to overcome this situation. I can’tell really think of a certain invididual who is making a difference. However, there are organizations that are trying to stop the use of  child soldiers in our world. One of these organizations is Invisible Children. They help by educating people on the realities of the situation, and receiving donations. Invisible Children also works to dismantle the LRA, a group in Uganda that actively recruites child soldiers. By broadcasting messages on African radios and educating the citizens on what is happening, they are trying to let the people of the continent know about he situation, and how they can help change it. As mentioned earlier, they also accept donations, in order to fund their campaigns. In conclusion, child soldiers seem like something of the past.  But in reality, it is not. There are still thousands of children that are forced or tricked out of their family and home, in order to serve the needs of their countries army. The situation is very sad, but there are things that we can do to help, even if they are small.

Canada’s Ethical Responsibility Towards Indigenous People

I believe that as Canadian people we have a large responsibility towards the Indigenous population of our country. Even though it was technically not us that made the decisions, it is our legacy, and our job to fix what we did. When you really think about it, the abuse that we directed towards the native people of Canada was not so long ago.  A common excuse is that it happened many years ago, and that we shouldn’t dwell on the past. However, that is obviously not true. The last Residential school closed in 1996, which was only twenty two years ago. Yes, our government has apologized numerous times. But saying and doing are two different things, and in reality, I don’t believe that any amount of writing or a performance done by Trudeau could ever heal the emotional scars left by us, the Europeans. Our impact is still visible today. In Toronto, Canada’s biggest city, fifteen percent of the homeless population consists of Natives, even though they only take up 0.5 percent of the population. Sixty percent of First Nation people live in poverty. Due to residential schools, established by us, the parents were never taught how to love and take care of their child. Naturally, they make mistakes, since they never had the chance to learn from their mother and father. Substance abuse is also a large problem. The emotional, and even physical scars left by the residential schools and the atrocities committed by our country have led to drug problems, and alcoholism. In order to cope with the abuse that they have endured, they turn to those two things, as they seem like the only thing can make them forget about what happened. We ruined the life that they had for themselves. With false treaties, lies and unfair deals, we have ruined any chance we had on having a positive and healthy relationship with the true owners of our country. Every problem that the Indigenous population faces today can be linked back to one single source, that which is the Europeans and Canadians. We can blame our ancestors, parents and grandparents all we want, but it’s our responsibility to make it right. It is a common myth that the Native people mooch off of the government, laying around at home and getting drunk while our tax dollars are used to fuel their addictions. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Each Native person, as long as they are living on a reserve, gets around 7,316$ a year. The average Canadian spends around two hundred dollars a month on groceries, 9,004$ a year on renting or owning a house and 3,000$ on gasoline. That’s over 14,000$ annually. The Native population is given the bare minimum. I believe that we owe it to them to apologize more than we have so far, and to fix the wrongs that we have done.  We have compensated the Indigenous population by millions of dollars, but no amount of money could ever repair the damage that we have caused them. It will take a long time to mend the wounds we caused them. Instead of talking and paying, we should actually stand up and start doing. I believe that we need to help them get back on track. Not by assimilating them and teaching them our ways, but by adapting teaching, universities, jobs and overall lifestyle in order to accommodate the different needs of our Indigenous people. They are not Europeans, and they will never be. Instead of treating them like dirt, and a nuissance, we need to show them that they are important to our society.  We must respect and value their culture,  and embrace the contributions that in can make to our society, instead of judging and criticizing their way of life. By letting them believe that they are “just an Indian,” as a Native man once told me, we are doing them so much harm. We need to prove to them that they are not “just Indians”. They are people, just like us. They deserve respect, and a chance at life. As soon as a Native attempts to amount to anything, they are told that they have all they need on the reserves, and they get free money anyways, so why bother. They are shot down before they even get the chance to prove that they can be successful. They don’t need money, or speeches, we need to make things right with our actions, and by proving to them that their culture and ares are capable of coexisting, each one contributing to make us the rich country that we are today.

Personal Response: Hotel Rwanda

When I was younger, I remember people talking about the genocide that occurred in Rwanda. However, I never truly understand or realized how bad it really was. It wasn’t until we watched the film Hotel Rwanda that I full comprehended how devastatingly horrible the Rwandan Genocide was on the country and it’s people. In watching the movie, I was able to truly see how painful it was for Rwandan people to have to go through such a horrific event. I learned that the UN actually did send help, but not for the Rwandan people. Instead, they sent help for the Europeans who were staying there, leaving the citizens to fend for themselves. Eurocentrism was ultimately what fueled the genocide that occurred in this country. During the late 1880s, when Germany first colonized Rwanda, there were two different groups of Rwandan people. The tutsis and the hutu. The only noticeable difference was that the tutsi looked similar to the Europeans. Therefore, when the German could no longer afford to have the Rwandan colonies, the Belgian’s took over and put the tutsi people in charge. The hutu people did not agree, and they revolted. So, in order to satisfy them, the Belgian’s let the hutu direct the country in lieu of the tutsis. However, in 1994, the president of Rwanda, who was hutu, was in a plane and got shot out of the sky. Hutu extremists blame the tutsi and began the mass genocide, killing off all and any government opponents. Afterwards, they took to the streets and going door to door, murdering any tutsis they came across. If it weren’t for the Belgian and their decision to separate the Rwandan people, due to Eurocentric ideals and reasons, the fighting and the division would never have happened. In regards to how the world chose to handle the situation, I have mixed feelings. I strongly do believe that they should have done more to intervene. However, the Belgian UN peacekeepers that were originally sent to help were killed. I think that it would have been very hard to help, due to the large amount of people who were murdering. To add to that, the UN was not allowed to shoot back, so they would have been helpless if they were to be attacked. I think that since this was such a violent crime, the law should have been put off to the side. Even though the method that the UN uses is without violence, some circumstances do require it. I believe that in order to keep the peace, some rules should have been broken. That’s not saying that they should have gone in guns blazing, ready to kill. I think that they should have been allowed to use force, if necessary. In conclusion, the Rwandan genocide was a horrible event that will forever mark the history of Rwanda. The genocide could have been prevented if Eurocentrism hadn’t been at play, and the two groups of people didn’t have to fight over control.

Research: Historic Globalization in Indonesia

In the early 17th century, Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch. Colonization was a slow process, and it took until the 1880s for the Dutch to extend their Indonesian territory to present-day Indonesia. They implemented the Dutch way of life, including schools and speaking English. Indonesia was a part of The Dutch East Indies. In 1830, a system of forced laborers was created, bringing a lot of profit to the Dutch. Centuries later, from 1942 to 1945, the Japanese gained a bit of control over the country. After four years of brutal fighting, negotiating and UN mediation, Indonesia gained their independence. On August 17th, 1945, the Indonesian flag was created. The top color is red, signifying human blood, and the bottom color is white, symbolic for human spirit. Indonesia adopted a democratic government. Presidents stay in power for five years, but they can be voted in once more after five years. On October 20th, 2014, Joko Widodo became the seventh president of Indonesia. There are sixteen Indigenous groups as of recent, but there is not much information for the groups of the past. 40.2% of the Indigenous people are Javanese. There are over 700 languages, but 63 of them are currently dying. The official language is Bahasa Indonesia. No treaties, and the traditional way of life, Muslim, is still very popular. Only one civil war took place, from 1404 to 1406. This war led to the decline of the Majapchit Kingdom, which had a very powerful reign on Indonesia. In Indonesia, crude oil, natural gas, tin, copper and gold are the most exported resources. Crude oil is currently the highest source of income for Indonesia. There is currently an unemployment rate of 6.60%, and the GDP is 5,200. Child labor is sadly still very practiced in Indonesia, though it is slowly declining.. Deforestation is also a common occurrence, and there are around 15 critically endangered Native animals, along with 140 threatened Indigenous animals. If you were to live in Indonesia, you would earn 87.94% less money than if you lived in Canada. You would also die 9.5 years sooner. There are 1.8 suicides for every 100,000 people, but many believe that cases are under-reported. Marriage is permitted at 19 for males without parental consent, and 16 for females.  The age of majority is only 15, and voting age is 17 if you are married. 76.10% of teens attend school, and 98.98% are capable of reading. In conclusion, the Dutch rule of Indonesia was a good thing. They led Indonesia to be a successful country, in regards of education and profit.


1C – Impacts of digital technology

Often when we talk about technology and it’s benefits, pollution and garbage are mentioned. Many people will tell you that using our devices is better for the environment, but in reality, they couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only is technology bad for the environment, but it is the cause of the strife of many people in third world countries. One of the primary components of our electronic devices is a mineral by the same of coltan. Coltan is mostly used in the production of tantalum capacitors, found in all of our mobile phones, and present in the vast majority of our devices, including computers, vehicles and televisions. Each day, at least a thousand Congolese coltan miners are killed, all so that we can have our iPhone. The miners are forced to walk many kilometres a day, working with their bare hands, making their way into tunnels that they can hardly fit in, where the air flow is terrible, all without proper protective equipment. They work twelve hours a day, carrying 50 kilogram packs on their back for hours at a time. The coltan industry is corrupted be the greedy Congolese army, and many of the workers are held at gunpoint in order for the army to take away the coltan that they have gathered during that day. Without anything to sell, the miners go hungry and do not make any money selling what they have worked so hard to produce. In India, the conditions aren’t any better. Millions of pounds of e-waste, pollution such as old televisions and discarded phones, are exported there, due to the fact that it must be properly recycled here instead of thrown away. Young children are amongst those who make barely enough money working with the dangerous trash created by first world countries. They live in dumps, scavenging through the e-waste looking for parts that they may be able to sell. Though technology is a huge advantage to us, people of a first world country, we need to look at the bigger picture. Is being able to text our friend really worth sacrificing the lives and health of so many people?

1C-Responding to Einstein

“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction,” Albert Einstein once said,  “The world will have a generation of idiots.” I do not agree with this statement. Though smartphones and computers do take away our face-to-face interaction, there are other ways to communicate. Communication, though not necessarily in person, is interaction nonetheless. Less than 100 years ago,  if you wanted to talk to someone, say a relative living in a different province, it could take a long time to send a letter and receive one in return. But today, with so many forms of communication such as Facebook, texting, etc. available almost instantly. As for the second half of the quote, in regards to the world becoming a world of idiots, I’m unsure how that has anything to do with technology. If anything, technology provides us with even more knowledge. In conclusion, I do not agree with Albert Einstein’s quote.

1C Cartoon analysis

The source that we have been presented with can be tied to the concept of stereotyping and popular culture. Today’s popular culture has portrayed Native American’s in certain ways that can be hard to erase. Things like Pocahontas, cowboys and Indians and just general stereotyping have painted the way that we think of the aboriginal people of North America. Like many people, the child on the right has grown up with the stereotypes surrounding this culture. Aboriginal people have been marginalized and turned into nothing more than a Disney movie and racist sports teams. The author is showing rejection towards these concepts. He or she is rejecting this idea and trying to show us that the stereotype a culture has been associated to is not necessarily accurate. The author uses irony. The pictures that the boy has thought of look nothing like the Native girl on the right, and he is confused.

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Collective identity symbol

For the collective identity symbol I chose to include the EBHS logo, a maple leaf and the logo of my favourite band, twenty one pilots. I chose to include the Eagle Butte high school symbol since it is, of course, the school I attend. Education is one of the most vital parts of my life, as it really is the deciding factor as to whether or not I’m going to have a successful future. I added a maple leaf because I am Canadian, and that is a huge part of who I am. All thanks to the fact that I happen to be a Canadian citizen, I have so many privileges and rights that lots of the world does not. I am able to attend school without having to pay, access to healthcare is a guarantee and tuition rates are almost four times less than in the United States (and we have poutine and Kinder Surprises and let’s be real here that’s where it’s at). Lastly, I included the symbol for the duo twenty one pilots. Even though twenty one pilots’ fans, or “The Skeleton Clique” if you want to get technical, are usually really cringey, I still love the band. I saw them in Calgary last summer and it was literally the best day of my life, I cried more than I would like to admit. twenty one pilots (yes it’s not supposed to be capitalized) has had such a big impact on my life and I really do believe that they’re the reason that I am here today and why I am who I am. In conclusion, all three of those collectives mean so much to me, and I would be a different person if they weren’t a part of my life.

Languages of Indonesia

In Indonesia, there are currently 265 indigenous languages. The official language is Indonesia, but Javanese, Sundanese and Madurese are very popular as well. I found that there actually isn’t much information on the languages of Indonesia, so I wasn’t able to find how many languages there were originally. However, I learned that there are 63 languages that are currently endangered, including Abinomn, Yoke and Gorap. As for extinct languages, there wasn’t much information on that either, but Aputai and Dusner and two languages that are currently critically endangered. Surprisingly, there aren’t many efforts made in order to preserve native languages. The majority of the time, they end up just transitioning to a more popular language that is spoken in the area. Enligsh is rarely used fluently. However, some 20% of the population can speak basic English, but not enough to carry an in-depth conversation.

The World in 25 People: Interesting Facts About Indonesia

In my research on Indonesia and the statistics of this country I found many interesting facts. Here are five that you may not know:

-In Indonesia, over 700 languages are spoken. However, the official language is Bahasa Indonesia. English and Dutch are also other languages, as well as countless local dialects. I have chosen to include this fact since only around 90 languages are spoken in Canada.

-The school life expectancy is 13 years for both males and females. 97.2% of the men in Indonesia can read, as well as 93.6% of woman. I find this fact interesting since, based on what I knew about Indonesia, I expected the population to be less educated.

-Indonesia is the fourth most populated country in the world, with 260 million people as of 2017. I added this fact since the most populated country is China, with over 1 billion people. That’s around 22 times as populated as Indonesia.

-The rural population is actually less than the urban population, with 44.8% of the country living in rural areas. I expected most of the population to live on farms instead of in cities, since when I think of Indonesia I usually picture farms and cattle.

-You’ve probably heard someone refer to coffee as “java”. Did you know that the word actually comes from the island Java, in Indonesia, where coffee beans are grown? Lots of people call coffee java, but I bet few of them know where the word actually comes from.

-Indonesian people are actually very accepting of different gender expressions. There are men, called Banci, who dress and act like women. They have very particular and respected places in this country’s culture. They are matchmakers, artisans, performers, healers and ritual specialists. I think that we as Canadians tend to think that the rest of the world is intolerant compared to us, so I decided to add this fact so that people know that in reality, diversity is accepted in many countries.

-The Komodo dragon, who’s name originates from rumours that dragons lived on the island of Komodo,  is found in Indonesia. They are the largest lizards in the world, and they can grow up to ten feet and weigh 350 pounds. I thought this was interesting, since I really like reptiles, and I did not know that Komodo dragons were found in Indonesia.

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