Nobody’s Children: The Metis in Canada's Residential Schools

Topics: First Nations, Aboriginal peoples in Canada / Pages: 7 (1998 words) / Published: Jun 23rd, 2014
Nobody’s Children:
The Metis in Residential Schools

February 1, 2014

The history of the Métis and Residential Schools is not new. For a century, the mutual lives of the Métis children were controlled by the missionaries and the Catholic Church, and became wrapped up in Federal Government policies. The Metis Residential School experience was similar to the Aboriginal one; that of social exclusion and mental and physical abuse. The procedures that were created for the Métis in Residential Schools harshly exposed how bureaucrats felt about the social order of the Métis’ station in the New Canada. The Residential Schools took part in creating a lower class structure for the Métis, which separated them even further from their First Nations peers.
The Catholic Church Residential School System By 1870, Catholic and Anglican school systems were firmly established in Manitoba’s Métis Red River settlement. It became essential for the government to be able to control the actions of the Métis people after the battle commanded by Gabriel Dumont against Mounted constables in Batoche in 1885, which marked the Last Stand of the Aboriginal West. However, the goal of forming a civilised European society continued to be a challenge. Egerton Ryerson, a Methodist minister expressed the views of the time, "the education of Indians consists not merely of the mind but of weaning of the habits and feelings of their ancestors and the acquirements of the language, arts, and customs of a civilized life." The Roman Catholic Church already had rooted ties to the Métis community through the French Catholic culture of the Métis peoples '. Many missionaries determined that the success of their lessons was reliant on how long these children remained in the Missionary Schools and away from the influence of their traditions and families. While many Métis did go to school, the missionaries were still powerless to sway the Francophone Métis communities. Missionaries



Bibliography: A Consolidation of the Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982. Ottawa: Department. of Justice Canada, 2012. Chartrand, Larry N., Tricia E. Logan, and Judy D. Daniels. Métis history and experience and residential schools in Canada. Ottawa: Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2006. Daniels, Judy, Larry Chartrand, and Tricia Logan. "Métis History and Experience and Residential Schools in Canada/Histoire et expériences des Métis et les pensionnats au Canada." Aboriginal Healing Foundation Report (2006): 1-4. Edge, Lois, and Tom McCallum. "Métis Identity: Sharing traditional knowledge and healing practices at Métis Elders Gatherings.” PIMATISIWIN 4, no. 2 (2006): 90. Erasmus, George, Jeff Thomas, and Richard Kistabish. “Where are the children?: Healing the legacy of the residential schools.” Ottawa, Ontario: National Archives of Canada, 2003. Grant, Agnes. No end of grief: Indian residential schools in Canada. Winnipeg: Pemmican Pub., 1996. Rogers, Shelagh. Speaking my truth: reflections on reconciliation & residential school. Book club ed. Ottawa, Ontario: Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2012. Thorner, Thomas. "The Whites were Terrorists: Residential Schools." A country nourished on self-doubt: documents in Post-Confederation Canadian history. Toronto, Ontario: Toronto University Press, 2010. 379.

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