From the 1870’s until the last school closed in 1996, at least 150,000 Indigenous children attended residential schools in Canada. More than 130 government mandated schools existed across the country. These schools were church administered, with the express purpose of forcibly removing Indigenous children from their native culture, in an effort to assimilate them into Euro-Canadian culture and thereby “kill the Indian in the child”. Countless families were torn apart as the Canadian government placed
As residential schools were discredited, the child welfare system became the new agent of assimilation and colonization (Russel, 2015). The introduction of section 88 in the Indian Act made it possible to enforce provincial child welfare legislation on-reserves (Knozlowski, Sinha, Hoey, & Lucas, 2011). This allowed provincial child welfare authorities to apprehend Indigenous children living on these reserves, which resulted in a sudden acceleration in child welfare workers removing Indigenous children from their communities (Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996). Before Section 88 emerged less than 1% of children in care in BC were Indigenous but by the early 1960s, 34% of children in care were Indigenous (Knozlowski et al., 2011).
Residential schools in Canada were present for over 100 years and were created by the government to eliminate the Indigenous culture. These schools successfully separated families while creating huge cultural barriers between children and their Native culture (COHA, 2011). These children were forcibly removed from their families and taken to residential schools because Canadians saw Indigenous peoples as “backwards” or “savage” (COHA, 2011). They also believed that they were inferior to Natives and that these schools would help “civilize” aboriginals by replacing their Native traits with Western values (COHA, 2011).
Speaker, I stand before you today to offer an apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools. The treatment of children in Indian residential schools is a sad chapter in our history. The government of Canada now recognizes that it was wrong to forcefully remove children from their homes, and we apologize for having done this. We now recognize that it was wrong to separate children from rich and vibrant cultures and traditions, that it created a void in many lives and communities, and we apologize for having done this. It has taken extraordinary courage for the thousands of survivors that have come forward to speak publicly about the abuse they suffered. These objectives were based on the assumption aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal. Indeed, some sought, as it was infamously said, ‘to kill the Indian in the child.' Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm and had no place in our country. There is no place in Canada for the attitudes that inspired the Indian residential schools system ever again to prevail. We now recognize that, far too often, these institutions gave rise to abuse or neglect and were inadequately controlled, and we apologize for failing to protect you.” (Campion-Smith, Bruce.
Since the colonization of Canada First Nations people have been discriminated against and assimilated into the new culture of Canada through policies created by the government. Policies created had the intentions of improving the Aboriginal people’s standard of living and increasing their opportunities. Mainly in the past hundred years in Canadian Society, policies and government implemented actions such as; Residential schools, the Indian Act, and reserve systems have resulted in extinguishing native culture, teachings, and pride. Policies towards the treatment of Aboriginal Canadians has decreased their opportunities and standard of living because of policies specified previously (Residential schools, the Indian Act, and reservation systems).
The impact of colonization on First Nations peoples in Canada is unsurpassable, regarding every aspect of Aboriginal life and well-being. Throughout Canadian history, the government has been aiming to assimilate and annihilate Aboriginal people by way of racist policies, ethnocentric institutions, discriminatory laws and destructive capitalist behaviours. Because of this, Aboriginal people have suffered many losses, both physically and culturally. One of the main perpetrators of enacting this loss is the education system. The education system in Canada has and continues to threaten the relationship First Nations peoples have with the land. The connection First Nations peoples have with the land is crucial to their cultures, traditions, ceremonies and beliefs. Colonization and colonialism jeopardize this relationship and that is what this essay will address.
The current outcome of the Sixties Scoop is still unresolved; it was only in 2010 that a class action suit was brought to the courts in Ontario and 2011 from survivors in British Columbia. Restitution for this is far from over. According to John Beaucage the former Grand Chief of the Union of Ontario Indians, we have now entered a new stage in the assimilation of aboriginals called the “Millennium Scoop”. In his report commissioned by the Ministry Children and Youth Services he states “Although Aboriginal people make up about 2 per cent of the province’s population (2006 Census); we make up a far greater percentage of the children in care (estimates are from 10 to 20 per cent)” (Beaucage, 2011). While this is information is based on one report it does produce viable solutions and a basis for additional research.
Aboriginal-Canadians have an excessive history of mistreatment and discrimination in Canada. Europeans considered Canada’s First Nations as savages, eventually residential schools were created which in extreme cases were comparable to Prisoner of War camps. According to Evelyn Kallen, “Substandard housing breeding disease and death, closed schools due to lack of teachers, heat, and/or running water are only two examples of continuing, dehumanizing life conditions on many reserves” (198). Although, extensive improvements have been made to reservations and Aboriginal rights, more improvement remains necessary. Allan Blakeney stated, “An important starting point of course, is that Aboriginal people in Canada do not, as a group, occupy high
The mistreatment of Aboriginal children at residential schools caused detrimental impacts on their identity and even led to death. Furthermore, this has led to many repercussions that negatively affect their communities and made them more prone to criminal acts. There have also been rising tensions between the Aboriginal population and the Canadian government due to the protests for compensation. The imposition of residential schools has negatively impacted the lives of the Aboriginal population and the government must take action for the betterment of their
Knockwood explains the enforcement of residential ideologies as a “combination of physical intimidation and psychological manipulation which produced terror and confusion” (12). The premise of residential schools was to strip Indigenous children from their culture and Indigenous identity, forcing them to only speak English, or face severe consequences. Despite the government and churches best efforts, many Indigenous children still maintained their cultural roots and kept their language while at home. This governmental need for assimilation has had lasting impacts far beyond the scope of active residential schools. Neeganagwedgin notes, “while the schools may be physically closed, the legacy lingers” (34). Beyond this, she urges, present-day institutions still function in a way that continues to undermine and systematically deny, “Indigenous peoples their inherent rights as First Peoples” (Neeganagwedgin 34); such as the justice system, child welfare and the education systems.
The sociological effects that Aboriginal peoples in Canada face are vast. Residential schools, stripped people of their identity, enforced a cultural genocide, abused (both sexually and physically) children and created an unjust line of intergenerational trauma. Kinship ties, for the majority were lost during the residential school period, sometimes leaving entire communities displaced. The Canadian Government fails to recognize the treatment of Aboriginal peoples during the residential school period and there hasn’t been much done to help those who are affected.
In reflecting on that Wab shared of his father’s experience in the residential school system, information gathered from the text, as well as my own prior knowledge, operated under various religious organizations, in tandem with the Government of Canada, residential schools were one of the methods used to assimilate Aboriginal children into white society (textbook). Tasked with the responsibility to “remove the Indian from the child” such was accomplished through whatever means necessary, whereby come the stories of physical and emotional abuse, in addition placing many children under experiments involving malnutrition (Erin discus). The consequences of such schooling then included, an increased number of generations growing up outside the family environment, these individuals no longer fitting into their Aboriginal communities, yet they are not accepted in
Canada as a nation is known to the world for being loving, courteous, and typically very welcoming of all ethnicities. Nevertheless, the treatment of Canada’s Indigenous population over the past decades, appears to suggest otherwise. Indigenous people have been tormented and oppressed by the Canadian society for hundreds of years and remain to live under discrimination resulting in cultural brutality. This, and more, has caused severe negative cultural consequences, psychological and sociological effects. The history of the seclusion of Indigenous people has played a prominent aspect in the development and impact of how Indigenous people are treated and perceived in today’s society. Unfortunately, our history with respect to the treatment of Indigenous communities is not something in which we should take pride in. The Indian Act of 1876 is an excellent model of how the behavior of racial and cultural superiority attributed to the destruction of Indigenous culture and beliefs. The Indian Act established by the Canadian government is a policy of Aboriginal assimilation which compels Indigenous parents under threat of prosecution to integrate their children into Residential Schools. As a nation, we are reminded by past actions that has prompted the weakening of the identity of Indigenous peoples. Residential schools has also contributed to the annihilation of Indigenous culture which was to kill the Indian in the child by isolating them from the influence of their parents and
From the late 1800’s to 1996 more than 100,000 aboriginal children attended residential schools in Canada. At a majority of these government operated schools there were reports of emotional, physical, sexual and spiritual abuse along with punishment for cultural activities. Residential schools were implemented to liberate aboriginal people from their savage ways in order for them to survive in the modernizing society.1 To a majority of the current Canadian population, impacts of residential schooling are a part of a distant past, disassociated from today’s events, this misconception. Long lasting impacts as a result of residential schooling include minimal education leading to poverty, stigmatization by the non-aboriginal public, abuses of aboriginal rights in areas such as land and the environment and the growing loss of Indigenous cultures in younger generations. With the continuing misconception of the history and lasting impact of residential schools conflict between Indigenous people and the Canadian Government has not ceased, but increased.
Intergenerational trauma, or historical trauma, is “the cumulative psychological damage that specific groups of people suffer throughout multiple generations” (Hanser & Gomila, 2015). African Americans, as well as Native Americans, are one of the groups said to suffer from the most historical trauma in the United States, most of it stemming from centuries of slavery and subjugation. This paper seeks to show how slavery has continued to affect black people in the United States, starting with slavery and ending with the present. This paper will look at issues that seem to plague the black community in particular, including higher rates of both incarceration and poverty, as well as continued stereotypical and racial profiling, in an attempt