Sunday, 23 October 2016

Residential schools in Canada

Recently, Canada has started to examine and try to make amends for its colonial past.

There has been a truth and reconciliation process. One massive source of trauma for indigenous people was residential  schools, which were an attempt to assimilate indigenous children by force. They were taken away from their parents and were very badly treated in these places. The last one was closed in 1996.

Dodie Graham McKay writes:
Indian Residential Schools were created by the Canadian government in the late 19th century as a way to assimilate aboriginal children into the developing white Canadian society. Aboriginal children were removed, typically by force, from their families and home communities.They were taken to residential schools and forbidden to speak their own languages and were denied access to their culture. Many survivors of the residential school system report extreme cases of physical and sexual abuse, starvation and neglect at these institutions, which were co-run by the church and the state.
Now, CBC is airing a drama about a boy who escaped from one of these awful places, and has created a reading list for younger readers exploring how awful they were.

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