Residential Schools in Canada

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Sociology
Dr.C.Barry McClinchey
Residential Schools in Canada
Before the nineteenth century, the Aboriginal people had their own way of teaching the children in their community, through organic education. In addition to providing knowledge and skills, organic education kept their culture alive (Ravelli & Webber, 2013: pg. 237). This is because the Aboriginal children would also be taught about their culture and its customs. But the Europeans thought, “Canada’s First Nation peoples were in the way of the relentless onrush of capitalist and industrial expansion (Ravelli & Webber, 2013: pg. 238).” This is when the residential education system was established. Since the organic education was what made the Aboriginal culture stronger and last, the Europeans knew they had to break this system in order to weaken the culture. In the film, Education As We See It, some Aboriginal people spoke about their experiences being in a residential school. These experiences they had were not pleasant. The paradigm that best helps us examine the overall topic of the film is conflict theory. Many sociological concepts were applied throughout the film such as language extinction, looking-glass self, and self-fulfilling prophecy. The Aboriginal went through many of hardships that the Europeans put them through.

Conflict theory is the use of inequality towards another social group to maintain the power of those who dominate (Ravelli & Webber, 2013: pg. 47). The Conflict theory is a paradigm that is well presented throughout the film. The Europeans that settled down in Canada believed that the Aboriginal’s practices were overpowering their beliefs (Ravelli & Webber, 2013: pg. 238). Since the organic education was what made the Aboriginal culture stronger and last, the Europeans knew they had to break this system in order to weaken the culture. And they were able to do this in the residential schooling program. In these residential schools, the Aboriginal children...
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