Effects Of Residential Schools

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Residential schools were created by the Canadian Federal Government to integrate the Aboriginal population with the mainstream population. Attendance was made mandatory for Aboriginal children in the 1940s, and instructors were cruel and treated the students poorly. The maltreatment and abuse in residential schools caused students to develop psychological disorders with lasting effects and forced the Canadian Government to deal with the problems they caused.
Aboriginal children often suffered horrible treatment in residential schools. In Kathryn Blaze Carlson’s article, Report links residential schools with missing and murdered women, accounts of abuse in all forms were extremely common according to a significant 388 page report from the Truth
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Freddy Taylor is a former Residential School student also experienced abuse during his stay. Galen Eagle, author of article, Plucked from his family in Curve Lake, artist Freddy Taylor endured a life in a residential school, described Taylor’s situation “when he couldn’t recite the Lord’s Prayer, he was beaten; when he couldn’t spell an English word, he was beaten; when he spoke in his native tongue of Ojibwa, he was beaten”. Many others shared a similar experience at residential schools, unaware of the dangerous repercussions.
The treatment and abuse in Residential Schools often caused psychological issues to the students. A study conducted for the American Journal of Psychiatry uncovers the relation between childhood abuse and the increased risk of developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Causes of PTSD involve, exposure to trauma, such as, death, threat of death, serious injury or sexual violence, all of which residential school students likely experienced during their attendance. The study’s results conclude “Childhood victimization was associated with increased risk for lifetime and
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As these mental disorders continue to go untreated, they also become more severe and difficult to treat later. For example, untreated clinical depression carries a high risk of suicide. According to Web M.D.’s page covering Untreated Clinical Depression, “more than 90% of people who die from suicide have depression and other mental disorders” (Quoted from National Institute of Mental Health). Because of a lack of formal treatment or therapy, many people suffering depression or PTSD turn to alcohol or drugs to cope. Alcohol and drugs both are incredibly addictive and not only cause health issues but also relationship trouble and financial problems. In article, Legacy of Residential Schools: Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women, authors Beverly Jacobs and Andrea Williams discuss the effects of residential schools had on children “[Existence and teachings of Residential schools along with]physical and sexual abuse, has been linked to problems of alcoholism, drug abuse, powerlessness, dependency, low self-esteem, suicide, prostitution, gambling, homelessness, sexual abuse, violence”. Many of the above mentioned problems are symptoms of untreated clinical depression and PTSD, or are caused by the symptoms. The cycle of abuse is a very dangerous effect of the maltreatment in residential schools. It is possible that some former residential school students became abusive later

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