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The Infraction of Treaty Six in the Creation of Residential Schools Essay

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Treaty 6 was created based on the needs of Indigenous people and the Canadian government. The treaty was discussed and negotiated between the Canadian government and members of the Indigenous tribes. The Indigenous people had different needs they wanted included in the treaty; these included agricultural supplies, government assistance, and schooling that would help the community evolve from hunting-gathering to one that could grow crops and ranch. They also wanted to help the younger generation gain understanding about the new society. Schooling was an important section during the creation of Treaty 6. When the Canadian government signed Treaty 6 in 1876 the treaty stated: “And further, Her Majesty agrees to maintain schools for instruction in such reserves hereby made as to Her Government of the Dominion of Canada may seem advisable, whenever the Indians of the reserve shall desire it.” This section of the treaty was broken three years later when Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald introduced residential schooling. The introduction of residential schools contradicted the treaty agreement by removing Indigenous children from their homes forcing them to practice Christian traditions and European culture, and eliminating all traces of Indigenous heritage.
Members of the Canadian government and the Indigenous people signed Treaty 6 in 1876. Treaty 6 was “a formal and binding contract between two nations” that would help deal with important matters. Treaty negotiations included land, education, healthcare, government funding, and more. The treaty was created to help benefit both parties – the Canadian government, and the Indigenous people. However, the Canadian government broke this treaty many times. In the mid 1880’s there w...


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...ciety. The Canadian government, to assimilate and Europeanize the Indigenous people, implemented the schools. Treaty 6 was not considered when the schools were created. The treaty was broken when the schools were taken off of reserve land and placed in churches. Indigenous children were not allowed to practice their traditions, see their families, or learn about their Indigenous heritage. The following quote from Robertson sums up residential schools perfectly “In essence, the churches were attempting to eliminate the influence of Aboriginal families and communities on the minds of their children.” The Canadian government created the schools to try and force the Indigenous people into a European society. Although the Canadian government has apologized for the brutality and severity of the residential schools, they scars that have been left behind will never fade.



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