The Indian Residential School Essay

1915 Words Nov 23rd, 2016 8 Pages
In the 1880s, the Government of Canada began to establish the Indian Residential School (IRS) system. This was the government’s bid to provide education according to treaty promises. The IRS progressed slowly at the beginning. However, under the Indian Act of in 1920, it became mandatory for every Indian child to attend a residential school and made it illegal for them to attend any other educational institution. Authorities would frequently take children to schools far from their home communities as part of a strategy to alienate them from their kin and traditions. Children attending the schools were victims of corporal punishment, deplorable living conditions, rationing of food, sexual assaults, and many other crimes. The process segregated them from their environments and family supports. The colonizing effect stood until 1996 when the last IRS was closed.

The lexicon used to justify the IRS through the literature is vast. However, the policies that enacted the IRS system disenfranchised children in an effort to “kill the Indian in the child.” This composition will explore the protection that Canada received through the United Nations Genocide Convention (UNGC), ideas of Redress and Reconciliation, and Affirmative and Transformative remedies impacting non-Aboriginal attitudes. It will also present critics to this literature who find reconciliation as a useful process in spite of its colonial fissure. The narrative will describe the origin of the government policy that…

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