Canada's Dark Secret JUSTICE MURRAY SINCLAIR Al Jazeera English In 1996, the last residential school in Canada was closed down, bringing to light horrifying stories about the methods used to sever indigenous children from the influence of their families and to assimilate them into the dominant "Canadian" culture. Over more than a century, tens of thousands of families were torn apart as children were kidnapped or forcibly removed from their homes
Residential schools were part of an extensive education system set up by the Canadian government and administered by churches with the objective of indoctrinating Aboriginal children into the Euro-Canadian and Christian way of life.
Bud Whiteye, a survivor of the Mohawk Institute Residential School, was "picked up" and taken to the school along with four other children as they walked along a public road to visit his grandmother.
I'm ashamed to say I'm Canadian because of what my government has done.
Ron Short, former RCMP officer
"They didn't put us in a room and indoctrinate us all day long or anything like that," he explains. "It was in the routine of the place.
"You didn't speak anything but English. You went to the white man's school. You went to the white man's church. You wore white mens' clothes. All those were built in. It wasn't a classroom-type lecture. It was ingrained in the system."
In 2008, the Canadian government launched the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which finally enabled survivors to give their testimonies on life in the residential schools. Abuse - mental, physical and sexual - was rife and, although research and statistics vary, it is estimated that 6,000 children died in these schools. Some evidence puts the casualties at three times that number. After its formation, the TRC travelled around Canada for six years, gathering testimony from thousands who bore witness to the tragedies of the residential schools. Numerous "Aboriginal healing" programmers were put in place to help those affected to move on with their lives. /////
Yellowness Much more than 150,000 children, everyone who elected officials until 1996 supported this atrocities. Government should have been shut down by citizens. This is called genocide. Stand up for Natives.///
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They murdered a whole generation , my grandma hid me and told me , dont you tell any one your indian. Ididnt know what she ment my grandma was Shawnee , and im proud of it. !! ///// Alison Kohne Every Canadian should be made to learn this. Every Canadian citizen needs to know what went on in our country./////Mrs H How on earth did these places operate for so long without someone shutting them down? Poor children.//// x swiftwolfe x
I'm native, living in the Indian reserve, my dad survived the Indian residential school.////
John Smith And Canadian government began to blame China, Russia and Saudi Arabia because of human right. Remember Canadian, this happened just 20 years ago. Last residential school was shut down in 1996.//// Cheshire Cat
I'm from Germany and it's kinda common knowledge over here, that the Governments of countries like the U.S.A., Canada, Australia etc. didn't tread the Natives of their countries well. But I'm really surprised how bad the Indigenous People of Canada are doing. Just got done watching a few documentaries about missing and/or murdered Native women here on Youtube and was really shocked! There's one thing I noticed in all of the documentaries though. It's clearly visible and audible that all of the Natives, no matter in which country they live, are traumatized due to all the bad things that happened to their ancestors, family members and themselves in the past and still happening today. A trauma doesn't heal over night and no apology on earth can undo the wrongdoing that has happened so far. The healing has to come from within each individual, if necessary with the help of Professionals (Therapists) and it'll take a generation or two or maybe more until the remaining Indigenous people will be strong again. It was the same over here in Germany after WWII. It took at least 2 Generations until the wounds the horror of the war left, healed. Even though there are still scars and it will never be forgotten, the current generation of adults doesn't feel an overall shame for what happend over 70 yrs ago. People aren't stocking up food for bad times anymore because those times are over. But it took its time until we finally got to this point and that's what the Indigenous people need, too. Time and the will to survive.///// Nancy Antram
50,000 children died, not 6,000. I believe many more died that were buried in secret massed graves /////randomPERSON Our teacher was talking about it and she said not to tell anyone because the principal said do not talk about the Residential School history of Canada but my teacher talked about it in secret.///// nonblonde35
Boy this is right up there with Auschwitz.
I cant believe this could ever happen and no one cared. Ripping children from their homes and family. To be "raised" by strangers. Without even so much as kind word or a hug. Breaks my heart into pieces. Shame on you Canada./////
Jake Anthony I knew a lady from Alert Bay on Vancouver Island, who is a survivor of the residential school system. The RCMP came onto the reserve, ripped her away from her family and put her in a residential school, where she remained for 10+ years. She once told me about how she was beaten with a wooden paddle until she could barely walk just for speaking her native language. The residential school system and horrendous mistreatment of aboriginal people is a shameful stain on Canada's history! ////
Tanmay Bhakta Same thing was happening in Australia ///// Rachael Dean This happened to Australian Aboriginal people too.
My husband is also a victim of the Fairfield Farm government run institute in New South Wales. These children were mostly British from very poor families who were told their children would be given better futures in Australia. We were involved in a Class Action against the State of NSW and Fairfield Farm where 250 claimants were awarded 24 million AUD, to be shared according to a point system (similar to St Annes in Canada, which unfortunately has been unsuccessful to my knowledge, so far). My point is, the white British children have had success in claims against this institutional abuse, and yet both Australian and Canadian Aboriginal peoples have had little if any success, for justice, acknowledgement, apology or compensations. I think this is an example of how entrenched the racist, unjust colonial attitudes of the governments in the commonwealth are. It shows our heads of state under the British Monarchy will never accept responsibility for the inhumane and criminal treatment of the Indigenous inhabitants of colonized/invaded countries. Maybe it is time to go above the governments of Canada and Australia and together send a notice of intent to sue the queen. Should we start with an open letter to her first? ///// Colville Tribe
This needs to be taught in all schools, no sugar coating. Such sad history ,but we are a strong people..