In the late 1800s, the Canadian government and the church bodies started removing aboriginal children from their homes and started replacing them in industrial schools. The residential schools were the most effective take for destroying aboriginal culture and identity. Many of the Aboriginal children came away from school in their teen year’s barely knowing how to read and write. Thus, what was more critical was that many children were abused emotionally and physically throughout their school years. More importantly, the schools were located far away because the federal government wanted to minimize the amount of parent-child contact.
A common reason the colonists used for why the child was being taken was “for being Aboriginal.” British imperialism had such a large effect Aborigines because the amount of change that was being forced on the Aborigines was immense. Family separation, loss of rights and children, and loss of, most importantly, identity was the outcome of British imperialism. The Aboriginal culture endured a very harsh life with the British and slowly disintegrated into a forgotten culture.
The Canadian and American governments designed a residential school system to assimilate Indigenous children into Western society by stripping them of their language, cultural practices as well as their traditions. By breaking these children’s ties to their families and communities, as well as forcing them to assimilate into Western society; residential schools were a root cause of many social problems, which even persist within Aboriginal communities today. The best theoretical perspective to explain the issue of residential schools is best described by conflict theory. In this particular case Western society involving such institutions as the government and the church are the “ruling class” and the indigenous of Canada and the United States of America are the subject class. The ruling class of Canada and the United States exploited and oppressed the indigenous to assimilate them into western society.
These experiences would cause many after affects long after the residential school era ends. The residential schools turned into a failed ethnic genocide of aboriginal peoples in Canada that is comparable and no better to the genocide of the Jews in Germany during World War II. This paper will examine the factors leading to the creating of residential schools and will also look at the type of abuses upon the aboriginal children and the after affects. Residential schools were erected for several reasons, such as assimilation to Canadian culture and surprisingly for economic factors. Residential schooling was a concept that dated back to the 1800's.
This system was managed by churches, whose purpose was to educate the child by adapting them into the mainstream Canadian society. This nonetheless, became a very serious issue that questioned Canada’s democracy and the basic civil rights that came along with it. In addition, this destructive system left a long range of impacts. Residential schools undermined Aboriginal culture causing a profound displacement of aboriginal people even to this day. In the late 19th century, Prime Minister Sir John Alexander Macdonald assigned Nicholas Flood Davin, both a journalist and politician, to study trade schools for Aboriginal children.
Some Aboriginal children were brought up to feel ashamed of their race and heir colour. "In a deliberate and callous attempt to conceal their cultural identity," Aboriginal children were taken from the families an forcibly placed in an institution and were denied further contact with their families. (Aboriginal legal service, 1995 pp ii) For white Australia, the feeling of responsibility, shame, apologetic and sympathetic for what their past people have done to the Aboriginals. The Aboriginals feeling anguished, rejected and feeling in a sence made "different" from the Europeans. "For Aboriginal participants a catharsis for feelings of sorrow and rage, and it encourages as to anticipate that, after generations of neglect, white Australia is finally prepared to own the shame of its past, and to accept the responsibility of effecting real and substancial reparation in the future."
Indian residential schools in Canada were constructed with no other goal, then destroying and dismantling the native cultural in Canada, by specifically targeting the upcoming generation. This is better referred to as some as cultural genocide, as best stated by former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin, “Let us u... ... middle of paper ... ...he-path/300174/ Miller, J. M. D. (1996). Shingwauk's vision: A history of native residential schools. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Miller, J. M. D. (2013).
Many lacked jobs, got worsened life styles, and worse living conditions, the very things that they were supposed to be saved from. As a result, a large number of Indians moved back to the reservations. The motivation behind the relocations is thought to be greed, as they could make money off of it(Boxer). Works Cited Boxer, Andrew. "Native Americans and the Federal Government."
As one looks back to times when hardships fell on First Nations in respect to education, treaties, and the justice system what you will find written in this essay is a comparison to what was then and what is now. The world of the First Nation’s treaties questions ignorance of oral history, the way the treaties were upheld but not respected and the common agreements between Canadian government and aboriginal law. The ignorance is how the oral history of first nations was ignored and forgotten. The oral history states that the land was to be shared and not given away; it cannot be bought or sold. First Nations were placed on the land as guardians.
Because of poor management, underfunding, a lack of understanding Aboriginals cultures and values, the experiment was a big failure. It most certainly did not stop there. In 1876 the Canadian government introduced the Indian Act. It is “…the principal statute through which the federal government administers Indian status, local First Nations governments and the management of reserve land and communal monies” (Parrot, 2006). The First Nations have to be given their Indian Status, a legal acknowledgment of a person’s First Nation heritage.