Exploring the Current day Impact of the Canadian Indian Residential School System

Exploring the Current day Impact of the Canadian Indian Residential School System

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When someone speaks of great inequalities and human rights violations, very seldom is Canada as a nation (in a broader sense,) conjured together with these thoughts. However, in reality probably some of the greatest human right violations within our time and even within the late modern period, and most concerning examples of them, can be found through looking back into Canadian history. For many this may be a surprise to hear, however for others, specifically the native population of Canada, we can assume this is well understood. Commonly known today as Indian residential schools, a great act of wrong was committed under the command and leadership of the Canadian government starting back with elementary roots through the passage of the Indian Act in 1876. More specifically in 1884, it became mandatory for all native children in Canada to attend day or residential schools (Miller, 1996). For many native children in Canada at the time, the only schools available in this mandatory requirement put forth by the government of Canada, were residential schools. The sole purpose of these schools was blatant assimilation. Native children were separated from their families, deprived of the ability to practice their cultural, deprived from speaking their native languages, and most prevalent in this discussion, were exposed to physical and sexual abuse from those in positions of authority on large scale occurrences.
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...

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Miller, J. M. D. (1996). Shingwauk's vision: A history of native residential schools. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Miller, J. M. D. (2013). Residential schools and reconciliation. Retrieved 03/19, 2014, from http://activehistory.ca/papers/history-papers-13/
National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (UK). (2005). Post-traumatic stress disorder: The management of PTSD in adults and children in primary and secondary care. Retrieved 03/17, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21834189
Robertson, L. (2006). The residential school experience: Syndrome or hsitoric trauma. Pimatisiwin, 4(1)
The Canadian Press. (2013). At least 3000 died in residential schools, research shows. Retrieved 03/17, 2014, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/at-least-3-000-died-in-residential-schools-research-shows-1.1310894

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