The Issue Of Violence Among Victims Of Residential Schools Essay

The Issue Of Violence Among Victims Of Residential Schools Essay

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In the mid 1800s the government of Canada began developing and implementing residential schools throughout the country. These schools existed until 1996 and were places where thousands of aboriginal children were sent after being torn from their communities and families. The purpose of residential schools was to assimilate aboriginal children into the European culture of Canada, however they often exposed the children to neglect and abuse (physical and psychological). The consequences of these schools are still felt in aboriginal communities today. Violence is one such consequence. This paper will examine the issue of violence among victims of residential schools from the perspective of the Population Health Promotion Model (PHPM). It will then propose evidence based strategies to address this issue.
The population who attended residential schools consisted of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people. In Canada our Constitution recognizes these three groups as being unique and having their own cultural and spiritual beliefs. According to the Census of 2006, over 1.3 million people (4.4% of the Canadian population) are reported as aboriginal. Languages of aboriginal people vary greatly depending on geographical location in Canada. Today, there are as many a fifty separate aboriginal languages used on a regular basis (O’Donnell, 2003). Those who attended residential schools were children who had been taken away forcefully against the will of their parents as well as some who had been allowed to attend by their parents. Often the residential schools were located hundreds of kilometers from where the children’s families lived. It is estimated that in Canada as many as 150,000 children were brought to residential schools and that 80,000 o...


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...ulties they are having. One such place is the circle project association group in Regina, Saskatchewan. There victims can meet with nurses and social support workers to help them get out of violent situations (www.saskatchewan.ca). Another suggestion for helping violent offenders would be to improve their self-esteem; and educating them on forgiving themselves (McCloskey, 1995). By forgiving themselves, these perpetrators can put their past behind them and become contributing members in society.
When trying to improve the health of this population it can be useful to apply the PHPM to determine what determinants of health (social support networks, physical environments and health child development) are in need of improvement and at what level to intervene. In doing so, we have a greater chance of improving their overall health and making a difference in their lives.

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