Tuesday March 19, 2013
Comparison of Different Residential Schools
There have been many residential schools across the world striving to end indigenous culture. Residential schools in Canada, America’s Indian boarding schools, and what is known as the Stolen Generations from Australia, each have similar objectives; however, their actions to accomplish their goals vary. Severe punishments are endured by a majority of the children at these schools for unmerited reasons, numerous children are taken to these schools by force, and equality is a word without meaning. Canadian Residential Schools
The residential schools throughout Canada have been established by the Canadian government, are managed under the Department of Indian Affairs, and run by various Churches including Anglican, Presbyterian, United, and Roman Catholic. The first schools began in the 1880s and the last residential school closed in 1986. Each is school aiming to incorporate Aboriginal children into society’s dominant culture, and to eventually end the transmission of native culture from one generation to the next. People believe that Aboriginal cultures are inferior and unequal, the main reasons for the establishment of residential schools. Policies
Aggressive Assimilation is a policy developed by Canada’s government that helps blend Aboriginal children into mainstream society. This policy instructs the educator’s of these schools to teach a certain curriculum to the enrolled students, which will help them integrate with white society. The passing of the Indian Act though amended several times, states that attendance at residential schools is compulsory. It also states that children ages six to fifteen can be forcibly removed from their families, if they have not already been sent willingly. During this time parents willingly sending their children to these schools is not uncommon due to financial circumstances. The schools are fairly far from most of the students’ homes, which results in lack of contact with their families, except for the two months they have off in between each school year.
A Typical Day
Students of these residential schools are forcibly taken from their homes, and forbidden to speak their native tongue. If a student is caught speaking any language besides English, they are punished both physically and sexually by staff, and occasionally by students themselves. Whilst the children are instituted at these schools they are forced to cut their hair short, and dress in uniforms. Boys and girls are separated from one other, including siblings, and each day is structured with timetables. Aboriginal children are given a poor education within the schools, often just enough to be able to perform manual labour. Boys are taught carpentry, tinsmithing, and farming. Girls are taught to do laundry, sew, cook, and clean. Most students only attend school part-time as well, and worked to fill in the rest of their day. Their work was unpaid, involuntary, and most of it is crucial to the operation of each residential school. Significant Figures
Nicholas Flood Davin, a journalist and politician, was appointed by Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald to study the industrial schools for Aboriginal children in the United States. Macdonald’s decision to fund the residential school system came because of Davin’s recommendation to continue the “United State’s example of aggressive civilization”. Institutions
The number of residential schools spread amongst the country is astonishing. In a breakdown of each province there are: twenty-six schools in Alberta, eighteen schools in British Columbia, fifteen in both Manitoba and the Northwest Territories, one in Nova Scotia, thirteen in Nunavut, ten in Quebec, 20 in Saskatchewan, six in the Yukon, and seventeen in our home province, Ontario. Apology
Since there are numerous parties involved...