Sat Jun 5th, 2021 at 10:38:24 AM EST
Canadians copying indigenous project established after the Civil War in the US.
Canadian Prime Minister John A. Macdonald commissioned journalist and politician Nicholas Flood Davin to study industrial schools for Indigenous children in the United States.
Report on Industrial Schools for Indians and Half-Breeds | Ottawa - 14th March 1879 |
Report based on study President Ulysses S. Grant to assimilate Indian tribes through Peace Commission of 1869.
Most stupid comment ever heard from Canadian PM Trudeau ...
Ulysses S. Grant: Mass Genocide Through 'Permanent Peace' Policy
Yet Grant realized that his expansionist goals required the removal of Indians from desirable land. His Indian Peace Policy, designed to reform the Indian Bureau and remove corrupt agents, also called for rigorous agricultural training on reservations and established schools and churches that would transform Indians into Christian citizens.
The Residential School System for First Nation
From the 1990s onward, the government and the churches involved--Anglican, Presbyterian, United, and Roman Catholic--began to acknowledge their responsibility for an education scheme that was specifically designed to "kill the Indian in the child." On June 11, 2008, the Canadian government issued a formal apology in Parliament for the damage done by the residential school system. In spite of this and other apologies, however, the effects remain.
What led to the residential schools?
The early origins of residential schools in Canada are found in the implementation of the mission system in the 1600s. The churches and European settlers brought with them the assumption that their own civilization was the pinnacle of human achievement. They interpreted the socio-cultural differences between themselves and Indigenous Peoples as "proof" that Canada's first inhabitants were ignorant, savage, and--like children--in need of guidance. They felt the need to "civilize" Indigenous Peoples. Education--a federal responsibility--became the primary means to this end.
Canadian Prime Minister John A. Macdonald commissioned journalist and politician Nicholas Flood Davin to study industrial schools for Indigenous children in the United States. Davin's recommendation to follow the U.S. example of "aggressive civilization" led to public funding for the residential school system. "If anything is to be done with the Indian, we must catch him very young. The children must be kept constantly within the circle of civilized conditions," Davin wrote in his 1879 Report on Industrial Schools for Indians and Half-Breeds (Davin's report can be read here.)
In the 1880s, in conjunction with other federal assimilation policies, the government began to establish residential schools across Canada. Authorities would frequently take children to schools far from their home communities, part of a strategy to alienate them from their families and familiar surroundings. In 1920, under the Indian Act, it became mandatory for every Indigenous child to attend a residential school and illegal for them to attend any other educational institution.