Residential Schools and the Impact on indigenous communities
Residential schools were institutions that were set up by the Canadian government to assimilate indigenous children into the dominant culture of Canada. This policy was implemented in the 19th century and lasted till the late 20th century. Residential schools were meant to provide indigenous children with an education, but in reality, these institutions were responsible for the cultural genocide of the indigenous community. Residential schools had a deep and lasting impact on the Indigenous community, and it is important to understand the effects that these schools had on the community.
Background of residential schools
The residential school system in Canada was set …show more content…
The children who were sent to residential schools were subjected to physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. The children were not allowed to practice their cultural and religious beliefs and were punished if they did so. The schools were overcrowded and lacked proper facilities, leading to poor health and undernourished. Many children died while in residential schools due to disease, neglect, and abuse that happened so they even died after returning home. The impact of residential schools was not just limited to the children who attended the schools. The families of the children were also affected as they were unable to pass on their cultural and traditional knowledge to their children. The impact of residential schools can be seen in the high rates of poverty, addiction, and suicide among the indigenous community today. The legacy of residential schools has also contributed to the loss of indigenous languages, cultural practices, and …show more content…
Studies have shown that residential school survivors experience higher rates of mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and suicide. Many survivors have also reported physical and sexual abuse while in school.
Objection 2: The Cultural Genocide of Indigenous Peoples
The residential school system was an attempt at cultural genocide of the indigenous peoples. The Canadian government and the churches involved in operating the schools believed that erasing indigenous cultures, languages, and traditions would make indigenous peoples assimilate into Canadian society. The schools, therefore, actively discouraged any cultural practices or beliefs that were not considered "Canadian." Children were taught to see their own culture as barbaric and inferior, which caused them to hide their identities from non-Indigenous Canadians.
This attempt at cultural genocide has had long-term impacts on the indigenous community. Many Indigenous people have lost their connection to their culture, language, and traditions, which has led to a disconnection from their own communities and identity. It has also led to a loss of traditional knowledge, which is critical to the survival of Indigenous
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The chapter vividly portrays the silencing of Indigenous voices, leaving these students feeling alone and without agency. The separation from their culture and identity further intensified the sense of dislocation and isolation experienced by Indigenous children in residential schools. Therefore, through this chapter, Downie highlights the need for awareness and understanding of the trauma experienced by Indigenous children, which has long-lasting effects, ultimately leading to the importance of reconciliation with
Lastly, distrust of Indigenous people and how they will follow rules related to residential schools damage individuals and relationships. ‘“We are going home tomorrow. He will go to school at Red Pheasant.”’ ‘“Sorry, ma’am.” The Mountie stepped forward.
The majority of the survivors from the residential schools have been able to come together and take steps in the direction of their healing. Not only did the residential schools affect numerous generations of people, but they also affected their families and, later on, their children. In many stories of residential school survivors, they talk about the generational trauma experienced within their families and also their many communities. The children of survivors of residential schools have trauma passed down to them by their parents indirectly and occasionally directly. They become traumatized after hearing about the horrible experiences their parents had to endure and the underlying fear that it could happen to them as well.
No longer allowing Aboriginal language had virtual made speaking the native language extinct. Genocide in the past has been trying to kill of people of a certain culture. In this situation, the residential school are trying to kill the culture not so much the
It took the Canadian government a century to lift the prohibition on cultural practices. The Indian Act also played a significant role in the detrimental aftereffects of the Residential Schools. Due to the provision within the Indian Act, Indigenous students of a certain age must attend Residential Schools. This legal mandate facilitated the government's separation of Indigenous children from their families. Removing them against their will caused significant consequences; they were placed in unfamiliar environments, severing family bonds and disconnecting them from their identities' cultural and spiritual
Canada is one of the countries that had residential schools which ran from the 17th century until the late 1990s (Government of Canada). Due to how the Europeans interpreted the lifestyle and culture of Native people, they discriminated against them, and wanted to assimilate them into being more, “white.” Children were forced to leave their homes against their will, then placed into residential schools where they were assaulted mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexually. They had no choice but to obey the inhumane rules of the schools. They were completely stripped from their culture and language.
The power dynamic between these groups led to the suffering of Indigenous People, demonstrated in the novel Five Little Indians by Michelle Good. The residential schools then further reinforced the Canadian government's assimilationist policies. By forcing Indigenous People to conform to "normal'' European society, resulted in unrepairable damage between the two
"One of the most damaging consequences of residential schools has been that so many Survivors, their families, and whole communities have lost the connection to their own cultures, languages, and laws. on page forty-six, the author mentions, "The opportunity to learn, understand, and practise the laws of their ancestors as part of their heritage and birthright was taken away." The law significantly impacted Indigenous people, making it more difficult for them to accept reconciliation. The laws protected people from their wrongdoing and stripped away Indigenous laws. As the author stated on page forty-eight, "Decisions not to charge or prosecute abusers allowed people to escape the harmful consequences of their actions.
As a result of children being punished for their culture, it ultimately gets lost during their stays at these schools. Culture is a large part of self-identity, and when this is lost it often leads to a lack of self-belonging. Another issue caused by residential schools is intergenerational trauma which is largely caused by the abuse, both emotional and physical, that the children were subjected to. Intergenerational trauma largely affects future
More than 130 Indian residential schools operated in Canada from the 1870s to the 1990s. The system forcibly separated children from their families for extended periods and prohibited them from acknowledging their Indigenous heritage and culture or speaking their language. School staff often used punishment methods such as solitary confinement, whipping, fasting, and slapping. The Government of Canada sought to educate and transform Indigenous youth and integrate them into Canadian society. However, the coercive, brutal and violent ways in which schools disrupted lives and communities created long-term problems for Indigenous peoples.
Residential schools are a shameful part of Canadian history and have had negative long-term effects on Indigenous Canadians. This investigation will be focusing on the long term socio-economic effects on the Indigenous population of Canada that are evident even today, such as substance abuse, the relationship between the criminal justice system and Indigenous people and communities and finally the financial situations and living conditions of people on reserves. An estimated 150,000 Indigenous children attended residential school. The schools were run by Christian missionaries, primarily Roman Catholics and Anglicans.
This included beatings, humiliation, and neglect. Many children were also forced to endure malnourishment and disease, leading to high rates of illness and death. Many survivors of residential school suffered from psychological and emotional distress, and many also struggled with addiction and other mental health issues as a result of their experiences at these schools. The forced separation from their families and communities also caused deep emotional trauma, and the loss of their culture and language, this further increased the damage done to them. The damaging effects of residential schools means it is important to recognize and acknowledge the injustices and atrocities that took place at residential schools.
“Historical trauma coupled with ongoing present-day traumas such as anti-Indigenous racism and a lack of clean drinking water has had a massive negative impact on Indigenous communities, resulting in (and combining with) issues such as addiction, limited education, incarceration, violence, abuse, suicidality, homelessness and poverty” (Seto). The effects of boarding schools are evident in the high poverty rates, unemployment, substance abuse, and suicide among Native Americans. The boarding school system has also contributed to the erasure of Indigenous languages, cultures, and knowledge systems, which are essential for the well-being of Indigenous communities and preserving their unique and beautiful ways of
This is true of Saul. Residential schools subject children to traumatic events and situations that sever cultural ties. Saul states," I did not want to be haunted. I had lived that way for far too long as it was," (Wagamese 314). Saul explains how residential schools have negatively impacted his life and the lives of others.
It was a system that sought to destroy Native American culture and assimilate Native American children into white American society. However, despite the best efforts of the schools, many Native American children were able to maintain their cultural identity and resist assimilation. Today, Native American communities continue to grapple with the legacy of the boarding school era, but they have also shown remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. The separation of Native American children from their families had devastating consequences. Children were traumatized by the experience of being taken from their families and sent to live in unfamiliar places.