Residential Schools For The United States

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Residential schools play a vital role in Canada’s history. In the late 1800’s, the federal government created church-run residential schools to assimilate Aboriginal children to European and Christian ways and in doing so robbed them of their cultural identity. Many children were subject to sub-standard living conditions, barely edible food, disease, emotional, physical and sexual abuse and even death. As a result of these dreadful experiences, there arose a movement aimed at healing the survivors of residential schools. The main concept of this healing is reconciliation. To reach the goal of reconciliation one must agree to gain knowledge and understanding of survivors experiences and accept that a mistake was made by the government …show more content…

In Canada, “more than 150,000 children attended 132 residential schools.” According to Maura Hanrahan, “Between the mid-1800s and the 1970s, up to one-third of all Indigenous children in Canada spent part or most of their childhoods in residential schools. By 1930, almost 75% of all ‘Indian’ children in Canada, aged seven to fifteen, were in residential schools” . The high attendance rate was due to the fact that it became mandatory to send your children between the ages of seven and fifteen and this was strictly enforced by the Indian Agents and the RCMP. In The Fallen Feather Dr. Mary Thomas speaks of her removal from her home. “I was six and a half, my sister was a year older than me. Just out of the blue they picked us up and took us to residential school in Kamloops. And I can remember my mother would get us all dressed up and ready to go back to school, what a horrible day. We would be all crying we don’t want to go back, don’t want to go back”. As one can imagine, this experience was traumatic for both the

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