This assignment should be between 3 and 4 pages in

This assignment should be between 3 and 4 pages in length. You must
attempt all questions. Review chapters 3-4 of The Fitzgerald textbook
and then watch the documentary titled,  “The Canary Effect” before
starting. The film should be available through Blackboard.

Follow this guideline:

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This assignment should be between 3 and 4 pages in
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a) Briefly summarize what you viewed. This summary should be no more
than 2 paragraphs (half a page) (Note: this is a summary or
description of the main themes in the film, not your interpretation or
analysis of it) (3 points)

b) Sociological researchers start a project with either a research
problem or a thesis statement. Taking “The Canary Effect” as a
research project, what would you say is the main problem or thesis? In
one sentence or two, write a brief and clear presentation of the
problem or thesis statement of the film (Note: a research problem is
usually stated in a question form, e.g. “Why has America become less
tolerant of minorities?” whereas a thesis is a statement [an
assumption] that needs to be tested, e.g. “The polarization of
American society has led to increased violence in visible minority
communities.”) (2 points)

c) What information/statistics/perspectives did you find most
interesting in the film? Why? (1 point)

d) Use the theory of Internal Colonialism to analyze the film,
especially how it applies to Native Americans. (1 point)

e) Explain how the ‘white racial frame’ theoretical perspective may
help us understand why many Americans have not been taught the true
nature of Anglo–Native relations/conflict in the U.S. (1 point)

f) Based on the information relayed in chapters 3-4 and the
information presented in The Canary Effect, and with an understanding
of the terms ‘racialization of state policy’ and ‘racial
dictatorship’, how do you think the US government, capitalism and
racism may be linked and how might they reinforce each other? (2


The canary effect


The canary effect is a documentary film produced in 2006 which looks into the effects in the united states and how its policies have had on the native Americans who are residents of the United States. The film has looked into the frequently overlooked and misunderstood historic realities of the United States. The film has also followed the horrific and terrifying abuses instilled to the native Americans and has given the details of genocidal practices of the United States government and how they have affected the present day Indian nation. The documentary has been a strong defendant of equal rights to the indigenous people.


The canary effect documentary is an investigation that has been carried on the effects of the United States policies and their influences on the Native people in the nation. It has taken a depth look into the devastating effects of the policies to the native Americans.

The canary effect

The documentary has pulled no punches as it explores and exposes the reality of the worst genocide in the world in the near extinction of the native people of the United States. The grim legacy of the indigenous people and their life’s in the United States has been revealed in details in this Film (Daggett,2008). The two filmmakers Yellow thunder woman and Robin Davey have taken the perspective of fully defining genocide in the film as the effort of the government to eliminate the people, making it clear that the American government is guilty of the crime action to the indigenous people in the nation.  They have based their argument on footage of bringing into the economic marginalization of American Indians.

The documentary has shown a consistent violation of the legal agreements that were reached between the whites and the native tribes.  It has also shown a consistent neglect and mismanagement of the of the reservations that had been given by the government. The natives have been forced into the reservations and brutalized as they have been segregated onto flinty soils and lived in substandard conditions. The media had been stopped to report columbine-style school suicide and shootings among the youths in the reservations. The Films has brought both present and past ways that had never been captured boldly and eloquently on a film.

Internal colonialism

Internal colonialism is the main idea that there are uneven effects in the United States of Economic development within the nation’s regional basis. This has been described in the film as an exploitation of the minority groups that are within the wider United States society. In the canary effect, the white men have been revealed as a dominant core while the native Americans have been considered as the periphery (Harrison,2009).  They have used this idea of internal colonialism as a way through which the nation will eliminate other norms, culture, beliefs and the forces that have been impacted on the native Americans. In the film, this has been seen when the Americans have tried to force Christianity on the indigenous people in the nation. They have tried and aimed at teaching the children the religious beliefs along with other norms and cultures such as the English language.

The Americans had a way in which they eliminated the natives that never obeyed or never followed their cultures and norms. They were never allowed to live with the rest which was done through elimination.  Another major form of internal colonialism that has been revealed in the film is whereby they were given few attention as compared to other people who would be seen through the reservations that they were given. The natives in the nation were offered land by the government far away from their homes. These areas made it impossible for them to have the same lifestyle that they had before. The land had fewer resources that never allowed them to continue with their way of life which was agriculture. The film also shows that the reservations that were given to them had water, but which was unsafe for them to take due to the pollution that was in the reservations.

The white racial frame

The white racial frame has been considered as a major aspect of the systematic racism which has been created to put in place white Americans. The racial frame is used to shape the society and how it behaves. The racial frame is also considered as more than a cognitive thought. It brings images that interpret emotions and action inclinations.

The government, racism and capitalism link

The government seems like it’s giving the natives a fair choice of either living in the reservations or joining their culture. This, however, is very unfair to the natives because they were unable to maintain their lives back in the reservations (Sheley et., al 2011). This, therefore, led them to join back the white men’s custom which also included paying taxes. The natives were highly dominated by the white men who forced them to choose the lives they want to live of which neither of them was good to them. This is a form of racism that is being practiced by the white men. The government has also been involved in racism through restricting decisions to the natives. The violence, war, and genocide against the native Americans were the central components of the development of the capitalist for production and wealth which were along slavery and labor provided by the natives.



Harrison, J. (2009). LibGuides: Native American Studies Research Guide: Native American Documentary Films.

Daggett, L. (2008). Theoretical and practical record of the making of the documentary film,“A Native American Dream”. University of North Texas.

Sheley, N. S., & Zitzer-Comfort, C. (2011). Expand and Contract: E-Learning Shapes the World in Cyprus and in California. Studies in American Indian Literatures, 23(2), 71-90.


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