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Indian Residential Schools Part 1 - The Report. Presented by Gail Smith. The History Pre-residential Schools. Early 19 th century – Mission Schools Goals: Teach native people to read English so they could read the bible Convert natives to Christianity

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the history pre residential schools
The History Pre-residential Schools
  • Early 19th century – Mission Schools
  • Goals:
    • Teach native people to read English so they could read the bible
    • Convert natives to Christianity
  • Catholic, Anglican, United and Presbyterian Churches involved
  • Indian Act – government’s responsibility to educate native children – Treaty Rights
churches and governmental assumptions
Churches’ and Governmental Assumptions
  • Aboriginal culture were unable to adapt to modern Canadian society
  • Without intervention, native people would be left behind
  • Children were easier to mould than adults
  • Children must be removed from family/cultural influence
  • Residential schools far from homes were the answer
  • 1890 -1950’s – Parents had no choice but to send children to a residential school.
  • Many parents wanted this schooling as they thought it best for their children’s future.
  • All Aboriginal people – wards of the state.
  • “Indian Agents” (white men) – employed by Dept. of Indian Affairs recruited students and ensured native students went to school.
where did they go
Where did they go?
  • To Residential Schools
  • Here are a few of them.
  • Children aged 5 – 16 to attend
  • School day:
    • Half time classroom study
    • Half time learning a trade
    • Girls – sewing, cooking and domestic skills
    • Boys – blacksmithing, carpentry, and auto mechanics
    • Added duties: milk cows, clean dorms, chop wood (provide labour to run schools cheaper)
canadian indian residential schools statistics
Canadian Indian Residential Schools Statistics
  • Total Indian Residential Schools – 135
  • None in NB, PE or NL
  • AB – 29 BC – 28 SK – 20
  • ON – 18 MB – 17 NT – 8
  • QC – 6 YT – 6 NU – 2 NS – 1
  • Department of Indian Affairs funded all residential schools.
assimilation plan
Assimilation Plan
  • Goal: To prepare Native children for white society
  • Began consideration in 1928
  • Geared to end the “Indian Problem”
  • Guesstimated time for success was two generations
  • Church run
  • Government funded
results of residential schools
Results of Residential Schools
  • Children were removed from their homes
  • Forced assimilation of white societal cultures, values, religion and languages
  • Some children subjected to physical, emotional and sexual abuse
  • Devastation of families and cultures
aboriginal reaction
Aboriginal Reaction
  • Decades later, Aboriginal people begin to share their stories
  • Accuse government of systematic racism
  • Demand governmental acknowledgement
  • Want compensation for lost childhoods and abuse
  • Abuse also affects the next generation
a move towards healing
A Move towards Healing
  • 1990 – Phil Fontaine, Grand Chief of Manitoba Chiefs, first leader to tell the story of his abuse at a residential School
  • Calls for recognition of the abuse, compensation and an apology for racism
  • 1991 – Lawsuits are launched, groups are formed
  • 1996 – Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommends public inquiry
1997 – Phil Fontaine negotiates out of court settlement with federal government
  • 1998 – Statement of Reconciliation -Settlement of $350 Million Healing Fund –Gov’t admits wrongdoing and apologizes
  • 2001 – Dept. of Indian Residential Schools
Resolution Canada formed
  • 2003 – Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR) process formed
  • 2004 – U of A Law School and Assembly of First Nations (AFN) find ADR process flawed
  • 2008 – Apology from Stephen Harper
mission statement assembly of first nations
Mission StatementAssembly of First Nations

To address the expedient resolution of the residential schools claims filed in court by the survivors with the emphasis on the elderly and sick and to ensure an effective process is identified and carried out for healing strategies in relation to the loss of languages and culture of First Nation people and their communities.

report on canada s dispute resolution plan to compensate for abuses in indian residential schools
Report on Canada’s Dispute Resolution Plan to Compensate for Abuses in Indian Residential Schools
  • Lump sum – all survivors $10,000
  • $3,000 for every year attended
  • Early payment for elderly
  • Truth Commission
  • Healing Fund
  • Commemoration Fund
  • Individual settlement of abuse claims
summary of school statistics
Summary of School Statistics
  • An estimated 80,000 people alive today attended Indian Residential Schools
  • Over 150,000 children attended Indian Residential Schools
timeline how it happened assembly of first nations http www afn ca residentialschools history html
Timeline: How it Happened?Assembly of First Nations -
  • 1857 – Gradual Assimilation Act passed to assimilate Indians.
  • 1870 – 1910 – Period of assimilation by government and missionaries to assimilate Aboriginal children into the lower fringes of mainstream society.
  • 1920 – Compulsory attendance for all children ages 7 – 15. Children forcibly taken from families by priests, Indian agents and police officers.
1931 – 80 residential schools in Canada.
  • 1948 – 72 residential schools with 9,368.
  • 1979 – 12 residential schools with 1,899 students.
  • 1980s – Students disclose forms of abuse.
1996 – Last residential school in Canada (Gordon Reserve in SK) closes
  • 1998 Assembly of First Nations (AFN) establishes the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Unit
  • 2009 – Less than half of the settlements completed
indian residential schools resolution unit includes
Indian Residential Schools Resolution Unit includes:
  • Independent Assessment Process –

students who suffered serious abuses that caused serious psychological effects

  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Commemoration initiative
  • Aboriginal Healing Foundation - other health support programs.
discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • Why is this a historically significant event?
  • Who did it affect?
  • How many people did it affect?
  • What view did the church take?
  • What was the result?
  • Was an apology necessary?
file hills residential school
File Hills Residential School

SK-7 File Hills Indian Residential School

(File Hills Colony School) (MD)

Okanese Reserve; opened 1889; closed 1949

A Letter of Remembering - Home

resource websites
Resource Websites
  • Assembly of First Nations -

  • Turtle Island -
  • The Anglican Church -
  • The United Church -
  • Where are the Children?
inquiry questions
Inquiry Questions
  • What effects did the loss of languages and culture of First Nation people and their communities have as a result of living in Indian Residential Schools?
  • What is being done to facilitate healing for former residents?
  • What did we learn from this?