Residential School Syndrome Analysis

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The actual living conditions of most residential schools were not suitable for human beings. In a number of the institutions, the mortality rate from diseases such as small pox or tuberculosis was over 50 percent. (, 2016, p. 1) The rapid spread of diseases was promoted by the severe overcrowding in residential schools. (, 2016, p. 1) There was poor nutrition with food that was often contaminated, almost no health care and non-existent sanitation that led to high counts of death in residential schools. The dehumanization of students was shown by both the abuse and neglect that was perpetrated by government officials and others running the schools that were badly overcrowded and cheaply built. A medical examiner named P.H. Bryce…show more content…
Although many view these schools as events that occurred a long time ago, in truth the last residential school closed only two decades ago. (Hanson, 2016, para. #18) Residential school syndrome is a term created by a psychologist called Charles Brasfield and it refers to a disorder experienced by survivors of the residential school system. This disorder is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder, but with a much more cultural focus that can completely change the behaviour of those affected. (Brasfield, 2016, para. # 2) The effects of what transpired in that system are still being felt generations later from descendants of those who were in residential schools or even residential school survivors themselves. (Hanson, 2016, para. #19) Generations of aboriginal youth had to grow up in situations with no stable and nurturing family to take care of them, and many therefore lack the skills needed to parent their own children. (Hanson, 2016, para. #19) The trauma sustained in residential schools has caused a serious increase in domestic abuse and violence that results in broken homes. The cycle of abuse has continued years and years later, still causing disruption in Aboriginal families. (Hanson, 2016, para. #20) It was found that among indigenous people aged 10 to 44, the primary cause of death that is responsible for almost 40% of the mortalities is suicide and self-inflicted injury. There are also seriously high rates of alcoholism and substance abuse found on reserves. (Hanson, 2016, para. #20) Though the residential schools may not be the only cause of this, it is certainly the root of many problems for Aboriginal individuals and the healing process will be a long
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