Inat the peak of the residential school system, there were about 80 schools operating in Canada. There were a total of about schools in every territory and province except Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick from the earliest in the 19th century to the last, which closed in Residential schools were established with the assumption that aboriginal culture was unable to adapt to a rapidly modernizing society. It was believed that native children could be successful if they assimilated into mainstream Canadian society by adopting Christianity and speaking English or French.
History[ edit ] Fur tradersin what is now Canada, trading with an Indigenous person in Attempts to assimilate Indigenous peoples were rooted in imperial colonialismwhich centred around a European worldview of cultural practice and an understanding of land ownership based on the Doctrine of Discovery.
The political instability and realities of colonial life also played a role in the decision to halt the education programs. It remained in operation until June 30, With the threat of invasion by American forces minimized, Indigenous communities were no longer viewed as allies but as barriers to permanent settlement.
Between andthe number of schools operating at one time peaked at 80 in Adopted in as An Act to amend and consolidate the laws respecting Indians, it consolidated all previous laws placing Indigenous communities, land and finances under federal control.
As explained by the TRC, the Act "made Indians wards of the state, unable to vote in provincial or federal elections or enter the professions if they did not surrender their status, and severely limited their freedom to participate in spiritual and cultural practices".
Sir Peregrine Maitlanda British soldier and colonial administrator, first proposed boarding schools inbelieving that civilizing Indigenous children, rather than adults, was the best way to influence cultural change.
Residential schools focused on imparting industry and knowledge were proposed again in in a report that had been commissioned by Governor General Charles Bagotentitled Report on the affairs of the Indians in Canada.
These acts assumed the inherent superiority of French and British ways, and the need for Indigenous peoples to become French or English speakers, Christians, and farmers.
At the time, many Indigenous leaders argued to have these acts overturned.
For graduates to receive individual allotments of farmland would require changes in the communal reserve system, something fiercely opposed by First Nations governments.
MacdonaldPrime Minister of what was now Post-Confederation Canadacommissioned politician Nicholas Flood Davin to write a report regarding the industrial boarding-school system in the United States. He visited only one industrial day school, in Minnesotabefore submitting his findings.
By there were 61 schools in operation. During this period capital costs associated with the schools were assumed by the government, leaving administrative and instructional duties to church officials.
The hope was that minimizing facility expenditures would allow church administrators to provide higher quality instruction and support to the students in their care. Although the government was willing to, and did, purchase schools from the churches, many were acquired for free given that the rampant disrepair present in the buildings resulted in their having no economic value.
Schools continued to be maintained by churches in instances where they failed to reach an agreement with government officials with the understanding that the government would provide support for capital costs.
The understanding ultimately proved complicated due to the lack of written agreements outlining the extent and nature of that support or the approvals required to undertake expensive renovations and repairs. Robert Hoeysuperintendent of welfare and training at Indian Affairs, opposed the expansion of new schools, noting in that "to build educational institutions, particularly residential schools, while the money at our disposal is insufficient to keep the schools already erected in a proper state of repair, is, to me, very unsound and a practice difficult to justify".
The growth in day schools was accompanied by an amendment to the Indian Act in that allowed federal officials to establish agreements with provincial and territorial governments and school boards regarding the education of Indigenous students in the public school system. The change included the monitoring of child welfare.
Often taken without the consent of their parents or community elders, some children were placed in state-run child welfare facilities, increasingly operated in former residential schools, while others were fostered or placed up for adoption by predominantly non-Indigenous families throughout Canada and the United States.
While the Indian and Northern Affairs estimates that 11, children were adopted between andthe actual number may be as high as 20, Children were kept from schools and, in some cases, hidden from government officials tasked with rounding up children on reserves.
Demands for answers in regards to claims of abuse were often dismissed as a ploy by parents seeking to keep their children at home, with government and school officials positioned as those who knew best. The changes included a series of exemptions regarding school location, the health of the children and their prior completion of school examinations.Healing the Legacy of the Residential Schools are to: acknowledge the experiences of, and the impacts and consequences of Canada’s Residential School System on Aboriginal peoples; to create a public and historical record of this period in Canadian history that could be easily accessed by Canadians; and to promote public awareness, understanding and education of the history and legacy of residential schools.
Because the impacts of residential schools are intergenerational, many Aboriginal people were born into families and communities that had been struggling with the effects of trauma for many years. The impact of intergenerational trauma is reinforced by racist attitudes that continue to permeate Canadian society.
Aboriginal People Face Discrimination in Canada Essay - During the 19th century Aboriginal people faced a whole lot of discrimination in Canada, their beliefs and culture were considered to be ill-advised, this led to residential schools being opened for Aboriginal kids. In January , the government made a Statement of Reconciliation – including an apology to those people who were sexually or physically abused while attending residential schools – and established the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF).
Justice Sinclair, who was the second aboriginal judge to be appointed in Canada in , made clear the connection between residential schools and the social ills plaguing the First Nations today. Residential schools “inflicted profound injustices” on Aboriginal people. “The children who attended residential schools were treated as if they were offenders and were at .