Truth, Reconciliation, Healing : A Curriculum

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Truth, Reconciliation, Healing: A curriculum Joshua Lorenz Vancouver Island University Abstract This paper brings together the two perspectives of residential school abuse and the viewpoint of healing. Intergenerational effects have been created due to residential school and have devastating impacts on Aboriginal communities. This paper explores how a school curriculum would help spread awareness of the wrongs committed against Aboriginal communities and how we can set the path for healing. From the 1880s to 1996, residential schools were operated in Canada by the church and the Canadian government. Designed to assimilate aboriginal peoples into the dominant Canadian culture, it has created intergenerational…show more content…
According to the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, their main purpose was to assimilate aboriginal peoples into the dominant Canadian culture by “killing the Indian in the child.” By converting the aboriginal children to “western” society, the goal was to make First Nations economically self-sufficient and have the ability to function in the new world dominated by strangers. At its peak during the 1930s, the residential school system totaled 80 institutions (Miller, 2001). The whole system was traumatizing for children being ripped from their parents at a young age and taken to these alien institutions, the schools were also segregated according to gender. Life at residential school was harsh. Minimal food was supplied with little nutrition. Further more in 2013, research by food historian Ian Mosby (as cited in Miller, 2001) revealed that in the 1940s and 1950s students at residential schools forced to undergo nutritional experiments without their consent or the consent of their parents. These studies included “restricting some students’ access to essential nutrients and dental care in order to assess the effect of malnutrition and improvements to diet for other students.” Clothing was often inadequate: ill-fitting, shabby and not suitable for winter protection (, n.d.). These issues resulted in many children suffering malnutrition and disease. The children were also not allowed to speak their native language or practice their religion, even in letters
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