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Where Are The Children

World  (tags: Residential Schools, Canada, church, assimilation, aboriginal, photos, history, documentation, videos )

- 1417 days ago -
Healing the Legacy of the Residential Schools. Between 1831 to 1969 residential schools operated in Canada through arrangements between the Govt of Canada and the church. One common objective defined this period the assimilation of Aboriginal children.


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Darren W (218)
Wednesday August 5, 2015, 10:22 am
One interesting link from here to their facebook page, is this concerning the preservation of the Innu language through poetry:

Animae C (509)
Wednesday August 5, 2015, 9:41 pm
In tears after looking through the web-site.
Same happened to Australia's First Nation children....

Patrick Donovan (344)
Thursday August 6, 2015, 10:21 am
The righteousness of the ruling class is despicable. The only way to stop this is to get out the vote for reasonable representatives.

Janet B (0)
Thursday August 6, 2015, 12:54 pm

Roger G (148)
Thursday August 6, 2015, 1:15 pm
noted, thanks

Janis K (129)
Thursday August 6, 2015, 1:51 pm
Thanks for sharing.

Birgit W (160)
Thursday August 6, 2015, 2:30 pm
What the Canadian government and the Catholic Church has done is just outrageous. They destroyed whole North American Indian families. Taking away their children in order to brainwash them how they wanted them to be is just heartbreaking. Nobody has the right to take someones children away.
Thanks Dandelion.

Past Member (0)
Thursday August 6, 2015, 4:15 pm
The government of Canada, along with the Catholic church committed a form of genocide by stealing the Indian children and warping them into clones of themselves. That is akin to being brain-dead, soul-less. The parents were left brokenhearted and dispirited. It can't be undone, but, what can be done is to stop this type of total disregard, various forms of genocide, total disrespect for all indigenous people, and a tiny token from governments should be new schools and school systems that are personally geared to re-instill the Native beliefs, languages, customs, arts, everything that's been suppressed, nearly destroyed---and some has been destroyed. Thanks Dandelion. Noted with angry tears.

Winn A (179)
Thursday August 6, 2015, 4:46 pm
I can't say it any better than Janice Banks. Thanks for your words Janice and thanks Sheryl for the post. As humans we must do better . . . . .

Walter F (128)
Thursday August 6, 2015, 8:02 pm
It appears that Canada and Australia walked along parallel paths.We both shamed ourselves.

Iona Kentwell (129)
Friday August 7, 2015, 1:59 am
Archie Roach sings a beautiful song about this practice in Australia: Took The Children Away

Jonathan Harper (0)
Friday August 7, 2015, 3:08 am

Arild Warud (174)
Friday August 7, 2015, 4:48 am
How could they treath children this way?

Roslyn McBride (26)
Friday August 7, 2015, 5:01 am
Noted & disgraceful.

Sheryl G (359)
Friday August 7, 2015, 11:01 am
Unfortunately, the USA did the same thing Walter, but then all 3 Countries mentioned, Australia, Canada, and the USA has strong roots from the same European Country.

David B (34)
Friday August 7, 2015, 11:09 am
the really sad part of this horror story is that many people knew of this and did nothing to change it . at least , to my knowledge , the Canadian first nations had one advantage that those in Australia didn't have , they never used them for target practise . and as for anything involving the catholic church or the church in general , what do you expect . I'm sure any priest who gets sent to a place where there was going to be lots of children , had their eyes light up like fireworks , or a kid in a candy shop . these are not excuses ,I'm very ashamed of that happening in my country in the past . sadly it is to common occurrence in most countries when they were opened up .not an excuse , just a fact . Thank You Dandelion . for sharing this horror story . reminds us all that when we think we are to high and mighty , we can always be smacked back into place .no matter how wonderful we think we are .

Sheryl G (359)
Friday August 7, 2015, 12:11 pm
Earlier on the First Nations Indians were not spared a bullet to end their life. The people just lost their stomach for the gruesome murders that were being reported so the next step was removal far away and assimilation into the general society.

These Boarding Schools varied on how well or horrible they treated their students, one that was set up for the Mohawks was known as the "Mushole" as the food quality was so poor and was always like mush. Some of the schools were known for their brutality and yes, there have been many reports of sexual misconduct upon children. There are also many graves found around these schools of children who died from their punishment or from lack of proper foods.

Sometimes, as this article wrote, a few of the schools were actually doing very well by the students. When it was determined that a particular school was doing such a good job that was frowned upon. As the article wrote, Debates soon raged in the House of Commons, as the opposition criticized government spending on industrial schools. “It has never been the policy of the Department for the design of industrial schools to turn Indian pupils out to compete with whites.”

Political pressure eventually brought about a change to the schools’ original design: Industrial schools would now focus exclusively on agriculture. Aboriginal boys would become “handy all round farmers,” and Aboriginal girls would learn the skills to become “excellent housekeepers.” Memo, Indian Affairs, 1904

Can't make them too smart to assimilate that well, they must not "act Indian" but certainly not to become the peer of the "white" man.

Sheryl G (359)
Friday August 7, 2015, 6:25 pm
In 1907 Dr. Bryce was the Medical Inspector for the Department of Indian Affairs, and he did not attempt to disguise the horror of what he found. In his official report, Bryce called the tuberculosis epidemic a “’national crime’ … [and] the consequence of inadequate government funding, poorly constructed schools, sanitary and ventilation problems, inadequate diet, clothing and medical care.” (A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879 to 1986, p. 75.) He calculated mortality rates among school age children as ranging from 35% and 60%.

Sheryl G (359)
Friday August 7, 2015, 6:42 pm
1926 When the children entered the schools, they were robbed of their identities: their hair was cut and de-loused, they were stripped of their garments and possessions and clothed in uniforms, and they were called by “Christian” names or by numbers instead of their own names.

The 1930's The appalling poverty of the schools also produced impossible working conditions. Staff worked long hours for meager wages in unsanitary and overcrowded environments. Many of them took out their frustrations on the children.

The children themselves were extremely vulnerable. Physically and psychologically compromised by the inadequate food, clothing, and shelter provided by the schools, students were susceptible to the constant outbreaks of influenza and tuberculosis.

They were also subjected to corporal punishment that was sometimes so severe that they found themselves hospitalized. In addition, many children were sexually abused. Indeed, the lack of oversight combined with the low level of qualifications required to work at the schools, often attracting persons unsuited to work with children and, sadly, sexual predators.

Sheryl G (359)
Friday August 7, 2015, 6:44 pm
Aboriginal children separated from parents, grandparents, and extended family – including siblings, who may have been at the same school – suffered from feelings of acute loneliness, spiritual emptiness, and a sense of abandonment by their families, a situation made worse as they struggled with the need to learn a new language, and the stress of living in an unsafe environment.

The effects of abuse were profound. Some children died from severe beatings. Out of despair, others took their own lives. Still others died without ever seeing their parents again. Such were the “good living conditions” that officials claimed existed at the schools.

This was the environment that became home for generations of Aboriginal children. Many would arrive as young as four or five years old, and there they would remain for years, sometimes never returning* to their families and communities for visits or vacations.

Children weighed the risk of running away against the cost of staying at the schools. Many decided the risk was worth it. While some were successful, they were usually caught by the police and returned to the schools. Others died in the attempt.

Shirley S (187)
Friday August 7, 2015, 7:09 pm
These were the actions of so called "do gooders".

Sheryl G (359)
Friday August 7, 2015, 8:03 pm
Before long, Aboriginal communities began to experience the full effect of the dysfunction, and indeed devastation, caused by the residential school system. Generations of Survivors have been raised, from as young as four or five years old, in a “family” made up of government and church officials, and school staff.

Far short of parental role models, teachers and school administrators used harsh disciplinary methods, and neither encouraged nor showed affection. The residential school system deprived Aboriginal children of their traditions, and of a safe and supportive home in which they were cherished. It produced generations of people who lacked essential interpersonal and relationship skills.

Many Survivors were not equipped with the skills to become loving partners and parents, and had difficulty expressing parental love; many did not know how to handle conflict in a constructive way. When these Survivors became spouses or parents, they did not always interact with others appropriately. The abuse and neglect that Survivors suffered at the schools often resurfaced in their own relationships, where the abused became the abuser.

This perpetuated a cycle of violence within families, and produced generations of “broken children,” many of whom also went on to attend residential schools. As parents struggled with the trauma of their own residential school experiences, they remained powerless to prevent the same from being visited upon their own children when it was their time to attend residential school.

Sheryl G (359)
Friday August 7, 2015, 8:05 pm
That is the sad fact Shirley, is many felt they were really do what was in the best interest of the children. Others as I've left excerpts on here.....were not nice people and this gave them an opportunity to do despicable things to these helpless children.

Animae C (509)
Saturday August 8, 2015, 7:42 am

Apology to "The stolen Generation"

Sheryl G (359)
Sunday August 9, 2015, 6:42 am
Thank you AniMae for the video, I had tears rolling down my eyes. Good for Australia. I hope that it acts in a much healthier manner since that time towards the original people of the land.

Canada also apologized in 2008 to the First Nations people but concentrated on the Residential Schools. Here is the video.
Canada Apologizes

Unfortunately, the United States isn't that far along down the road. President Obama acknowledges need for Native American Apology. Yes, the "need" for an apology.

As Native people, we believe that the Apology to Native Peoples by the United States is long overdue. The true history must be taught in American schools, so that today there can be real respect by the United States for Native nations and Native peoples.

Today, President Obama took an important step forward by declaring his support for the Apology.

And then when the apology was wasn't done like these two videos show, in the light, in public, it was done quietly.

Although that is good this was done.......where can a healing begin when few even know it took place?

Public apologies have long been instrumental in healing some of the most egregious transgressions against humanity, including apartheid in South Africa and the inter-tribal massacres of Rwanda. In fact, public admissions of responsibility by state actors are considered to be part of the international human rights framework for conflict resolution and reconciliation.

But the operative word here is "public." The moment of the signing of the US Apology by Obama in December of 2009 was closed to the press. A public reading of the Apology wasn't held until May 20, 2010, when Sen. Brownback read the resolution during an event at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. There were five tribal leaders present, representing the Cherokee, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek), Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate and Pawnee nations.

The other marked difference between the Canadian and the US apologies is in the details of the admission. Canada's work in repair and reconciliation has been specific and actionable. It refers to the harm done by assimilation practices of the government, and in particular the abuses of the residential school system. The US apology, as un-public as the delivery has been thus far, also misses the opportunity to list the transgressions.


Not much of an apology was it? it in the dark, invite only 5 Chiefs out of 500 Nations.....and there we can wash our hands of it.

I think not.

Animae C (509)
Monday August 10, 2015, 7:05 am
Well i never heard about it either, why so hush, as if it's something to be ashamed of!!!
It should be CELEBRATED & in PUBLIC!!!
i'm so proud of our then prime minister Kevin Rudd.

Past Member (0)
Thursday August 13, 2015, 4:55 am
Thanks for the information and getting this story the attention it needs.
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