Residential School System In Canada

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The residential school era in Canada started after in 1879, Prime Minister John A. Macdonald commissioned Nicholas Flood Davin to report on Indian industrial training schools established in the U.S. His report recommended the establishment of Indian Residential schools similar to those based on the “Carlisle model”. Davin was convinced that day schools were not sufficient enough in assimilating Indian people to Canadian society, and therefore he strongly advocated the establishment of off-reserve boarding schools like Carlisle (Chansonneuve 33). For this reason, the boarding school systems of the U.S. and Canada began to resemble each other in many respects. By 1900, there were 61 residential schools in operation in Canada. Over a century, approximately 150,000 aboriginal students attended 130 residential schools in the country (Dawson 82). Therefore, the number of Native children attending residential schools in Canada largely …show more content…
However, by the 1950s, the government began to acknowledge that the residential school system did not fulfill its purpose in assimilating Aboriginal children to Canadian society. Moreover, at the same time there were more and more rumors about the abuse of Aboriginal children in residential schools. This period marked the beginning of the decline of the Indian residential school system in Canada. By 1951, the government made it legal for Aboriginal children to attend provincial schools, as the federal policy became “assimilation through integration”. As mentioned before, it was in 1969 when the federal government’s partnership with the churches finally ended, which made it possible for Aboriginal people to seek more control over the education of their children (Daniels 112). Most of the Indian residential schools closed by the 1970s, however, the last one ceased to exist as late as 1996 (Chansonneuve

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