Education At A Price: Indian Residential Schools

This research is extremely important in order to understand fully the devastation of the genocide of the indigenous population. This research sheds light to on an area of genocide that is not common knowledge to the public. Many are familiar with aspects of the effort to eradicate the indigenous population such as the spread of disease or the intentional mass killings of large groups of people. Indian residential schools are a lesser-known evil of the destruction of the indigenous population. In 1992, B.C First Nations Chiefs and Leaders issued this statement, “The effect of the Indian residential school system is like a disease ripping through our communities.”[1] It is a form of genocide that devastated and continues to impact millions of people and their families.

The following is an investigation into the extent to which residential schools have intergenerational affects. Many students were taken to residential schools as early as the age of six. Often times, they would spend over a decade of their lives at the schools. These years are extremely important in child development. Early experiences provide the base for the brain’s organizational development and functioning throughout life.[2] They have a direct impact on how children develop learning skills as well as social and emotional abilities.[3] These formative years that were so crucially stolen affected the survivors in numerous ways. In their lives after residential school, many adult survivors, the families and communities to which they returned, all manifest a tragic range of symptoms emblematic of the silent tortures they endured.[4] Firstly, this paper will focus on the psychological affects that residential schools had on the victims and their families. The psychological aspects that will be examined are substance abuse, and the existence of Residential School Syndrome. Residential School Syndrome is a unique disorder following from the attendance of residential schools. The next affect that will be examined is the problems that existed for survivors in integrating back to their homes. After spending almost a decade away from the community they were born into many survivors found difficulty in reintegrating to their home communities. While these are just a few of the affects on survivors that the enrollment in residential schools had they are extremely important because they continue to effect Native American populations.

Originally Published by United Church of Canada Archives

Originally Published by United Church of Canada Archives

 

Originally Published by David P. Ball.

Originally Published by David P. Ball.

 

[1] John Milloy, A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879 to 1986, (Manitoba: The University of Manitoba Press, 1999), page 295.

[2] “Child Development and Early Learning,” Facts for Life, November 10, 2014. http://www.factsforlifeglobal.org/03/

[3] Ibid.

[4] Milloy 295.