Here the Indian is more primitive than the white man, closer to Nature, and therefore closer to certain instincts and moral values that the white man has lost: courage, loyalty, the ability to relate to his surroundings, and so forth (Atwood 91).
Seasonal employment that oil and gas exploration offers in the Mackenzie Delta has become an important source of income to many Inuit. Yet that does not mean that they. . . are prepared to give up their claim to the land. If our specialized vision of progress prevails, it is likely to prevail with indifference to--or even defiance of--native aspirations as they have been expressed to this Inquiry (Berger 113).
The ideology of white society toward the native society has been apparent in literature and is discussed in terms of American literature by Margaret Atwood. She notes that American literature tended to idealize the Indian as a Noble Savage:
The term "Indian" clearly involves ethnology in that it identifies this population as distinct, as capable of being studied, and as separable from the larger white society of Canada. Of course, the Indian has assimilated into Canadian society to a degree, with many individuals of Indian descent virtually indistinguishable from the rest of the population. This group as well can be studied for the cultural traits that may still be honored or displayed. Interestingly, though, many of the themes that identify Canadian culture are also themes that identify Indian culture, though perhaps in a different degree, such as the reverence for Nature, the sense of external threat, a belief in a set of values, and a belief that those values are threatened by some larger force. The essential difference is in the way Indian society and white society view the land and the relationship of the human community to the land. This difference is difficult to reconcile, and the only way it is possible is for each side to understand that the other group has different needs and a different vie