Canadian Residential Schools Case Study

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The Canadian residential school system as we know it was opened from 1863 until the closing of the last school in 1996 (Miller, 1996). These schools were funded by the government of Canada as well as several different churches such as catholic, Anglican, Prospetarian, and united church, which were created as an assimilation tool as an attempt to systematically integrate indigenous children into European way of life by “killing the Indian” in the child.
This paper will briefly go over some contextual information such as what life was like before the Europeans arrived, as well as some history of the residential schools in Canada. It will also look at the intentions of the schools, abuse that took place, and the laws that were in place that allowed abuse to flourish in these types of environments. Finally it will look at the intergenerational effects of the school system that live on until this day.
Before Europeans arrived in North America the indigenous people had a dramatically different process of teaching their children. Miller describes three L’s: looking, listening, and learning which role models would use to teach their young what they thought they needed to know. In the case of looking, children would learn what proper behavior is and what is expected
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When many survivors grew up and had children of their own, they were unable to parent efficiently because they did not have proper role models as children, thus, the trauma of residential school survivors was transmitted from generation to generation. This is known as intergenerational trauma, which is when previous unresolved trauma of one individual is passed on to the next generation in a person’s family (Day, Jones, Nakata, & McDermott, 2012). The intergenerational trauma is so far spread, it has almost become normalized as a shared experience in indigenous cultures

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