The Residential School System

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As previously stated, the main goal of the residential school system was to assimilate aboriginal children and was thought to make them more functional in Canadian society. Children ranging from 4-16 were taken from their homes and families and re-homed in institutions with the goal of assimilation in mind (Nagy, 2012). These institutions were often incredibly harmful to the students because they were not well kept or staffed, and were severely underfunded. These issues resulted in malnutrition, diseases, abuse, and even death. Children who attended were subject to abuse emotionally, physically, and sexually (Chansonneuve, 2012). Along with these issues, the absence of family, native language, and tradition caused the children to feel…show more content…
Some other affects of residential schools as described by elders include: loss of language, loss of sexuality, loss of spirituality, developing shame to people, anxiety, and loss of traditional food source (Chartrand, 2006). The Métis people of Canada were not originally required to attend residential schools. The Roman Catholic Church urged the government to include these people to increase funding, and fill up the schools. The government initially opposed this idea, but admitted Métis to the school only when there were not enough “Indian” students in the area where the school was located. Many Métis children were not even recorded as enrolled in the institutions making it difficult to determine exactly how many children attended (Logan, 2006). The Residential School experience proved to be even harder for Métis children. They were referred to as “Half-Breeds” and were not recognized by the First Nations and Non-First Nations so they were considered outsiders by both. A study done by Tricia Logan explains that although the Métis children were subject to the same conditions and rules as the other children, when surveyed it was clear that their stories differed from those of other First Nation’s (Daniels, 2006). Along with already being considered outsiders by those around them, the funding for Métis children also created the image of them being “outsiders” (Daniels, 2006). A survivor of Ile a La Cross school recalls that his institution could not afford the same
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