The Residential School System

1091 Words Oct 29th, 2014 5 Pages
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 lonely. Without their families to support them, they were forced to cope with the trauma of this school experience alone. The children were continuously caught between the grieving process of being stripped from their old life and adapting to the new life there were being taught (Nagy, 2012). Students were not taught enough skills to survive in either culture. The lack of stability in these institutions resulted in a large number of negative impacts on the lives of these children. The feelings of guilt, anger, isolation, and shame still plague many past residential school students. Along with these feelings, residential schools resulted in abuse of drugs and alcohol, and lack of parenting skills in today’s first nation population (Nagy,…
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