Residential schools were created by the government to assimilate Indigenous children and turn them into a the Canadian culture. In Canada, Indian residential schools were created and operated between 1870’s to the 1990’s, all Indian residential schools in Canada started closing from 1992 to 1996, the last one was closed in the year 1996.
Residential schools were created to keep the Indians Metis and Inuit children away from other regular schools that were already in the Canadian culture. These residential schools had the Inuit, Metis and Indians to assimilate them into the Canadian culture. These children were separated from the other Canadian kids because if their culture.Page 2Some of the benefits of residential school in Canada was that these aboriginal children will learn how to speak english, the dominant language in Canada. These kids would be civilized with the rest of the countries culture.
There weren’t only bad things in residential school one of the ladies that had attended the schools had said that they never were abused or hurt in anyway. “In the residential school she got to go home every summer for the holidays. All the nuns built them big slides that they’d have so much fun sliding down in the winter and they’d go for hay rides in sleighs pulled by oxen.” During the summer they would go and learn how to hunt and knit all different kind of things. She had also got to learn things like cooking and cleaning. She says “some people have now chosen to focus only on the negative sides of residential schools because of all the money put into it.
” Page 3Not only has the canadian government forced children into these schools. The staff and teacher at these schools, had torched and abused the theses kids beloved the point where the memories still affect them till today. Kids were not only beaten, some had been sexual abused.
Survivors of residential schools recall being beaten with belts and straps, some calm that needles had been shoved in their tongues for speaking their native languages. School had been very ill prepared, teacher were and qualified for teacher, lessons were taught English and French which majority of students did not understand or comprehend. Schools were usually overcrowded had poor sanitation, and severely inadequate food and health care to prevent the spread of diseases such as tuberculosis and influenza between the students. Indigenous youth just did not face physical abuse, they had dealt with lot of metal and emotions abuse. They isolated from their family, even if you had a brother or sister attending the same school your were split up, to prevent any or all connection to your family and culture.
Residential schools were persons for the aboriginals, with everlasting effects.Page 4Today is september 5th 1960, the day I and many other children get picked up from our reserve by the indian agent. This man was taking us to a residential school, one of the most scariest things I have faced being a kid because me and the others did not know how to speak english and all the teachers speak english. I only know how to speak my own language, I’m just a 5 year old boy who was being sent to school and being forced to stay away from my parents and home and living in this school.The date is october 5th 1960, exactly one month I have been here. I still do not know how to speak english and that has gotten me in trouble quite a few times.
I had gotten beaten many times for not understanding my teachers orders, I did not know at the time but she was asking for me to repeat after her. So I spoke back in my language and I got beat for speaking my own language.February 17th 1960, four months have passed by and I have know advanced to a higher grade from all the teaching. In our religion class we are forced to learn catholic prayers and forget about our own religion, we have to recite the catholic prayers perfect or we will get a beating.I had just gone through that experience last week I had lost where we were and the teacher and dragged me to the side of the wall and started whipping me and the other kids could not look , if so they would get beaten as well.
Today is now April 24 1973, I have changed over the years learned the ways of these people and realized that there has been lots of sexual abuse over the years, many times I lay in bed and here children getting sexually abused and pray for them and for me that this does not happen to me or any other child. I had seen it with my own eyes many times in the showers and in the teachers rooms. Everytime I see these kids poor faces I crawl up and cry and pray that I am not next.The date is June 15 2012, I had left that terrible place and now live in saskatoon. I have many friends who had been through residential schools live in the same area as me. I had planned to go back to reserve and I did, but it wasn’t the same it just didn’t feel right almost like I do not fit in anymore with my own people.
Many of my friends are alcoholics and do drugs and I do too, I have chosen this path to forget all the memories that I had gone through in the residential schools, all the abuse and sexual harassment I just want to forget it all. So many residential schools survivors drink until they pass out not caring if they wake up the next morning because some just don’t want to live anymore.Page 5The Aboriginals had enough of the abuse and torture, they had decided to rebel against the government. Children in the schools began to resist, as well student began to sabotage the operations of theses school. They would destroy kitchen or classroom, stole food and supplies, ran away, or, in extreme cases, burned down their schools, with much more protesting against schools’ harsh conditions. Not until the 1940’s, when the government realized that theses schools were ineffective in achieving their goal.
In 1969, the system was taken over by the Department of Indian Affairs, when they had ended church involvement in the schools, and it wasn’t till 1986 when the Gordon Residential School in Punnichy, SK the last residential schools had closed it doors for good. It wasn’t till 2008 when the canadian government recognized their mistakes, and had apologised to first nation community for the government wrongdoings and it mistreatment of first nations people.Page 6Residential schools have let nothing, but a negative legacy. To this day student of these schools face the trauma about the pain and abuse that they felt and experiences in the school. Residential school had left many first nation turning to drugs and alcohol to get rid of the memories they feel. These school have led to first nation face racism being called drug and alcohol addicts, but in reality all the first nations are doing it trying to forget torches memoires.
Residential schools had also left a negative effect of the government for mistreating and “stealing” from the indigenous people. Page 7 & 8In 2008 the canadian government’s prime minister Stephen Harper had apologized to the first nations community and all former students of residential schools in Canada, for the government wrongdoing and mistreatment of first nation in residential schools. The government apologized to family that had been affected by residential schools. The apology the recognized that the assimilation policy on which the schools were established was “wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country.” Harper claim that he understands it was wrong for the government to forcefully remove children from the family and take they far away communities. He had offered compensation packages offered by the federal government excluded survivors of residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador, for the government’s mistreatment of first nation people and culture.The TRC also known as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is an organization that help former student and people would impacted by residential schools.
Established on June 1, 2008, the goals of the TRC is to provide a safe place setting for former students to share their stories to the public for other to hear truth behind residential schools. Page 9My honest opinion for these residential school are that they were prisons for children. The first nations have been mistreated for so many years in canada.
They were abused and sexually abused, little children should never be treated in such filthy ways, the things these people have seen and gone through is undescribable. Canada needs to stay focused on the aboriginal people making sure they can overcome this period in life and stop first nations from doing drugs and alcohol to forget about their past. I believe what the government is doing is very good, letting them tell their stories to the rest of canada so they can hear what they had gone through. These are the necessary actions the government has taken to help First Nations heal.Page 10The aboriginal people have been mistreated by canada and many of them were sexually abused and were abused.
Canada must focus more on these people helping them get through this time period, first nations are alcoholics and drug addicts because of how canada’s society looks at these people and how they are treated This is something the government should focus on.