The Residential School Era Essay

2302 Words Oct 20th, 2016 10 Pages
The Residential School era was a dark time in Canadian as well as Indigenous history and is a topic that is still “swept under the rug” today. During this gloomy time Indigenous children were forcible taken from their communities and sent to Residential Schools in efforts to “civilize” Canadian society (Zalcman, 2016, pg.76). In these horrific efforts to cultivate Canada, children were made to look like an “average” Canadian. Their hair was cut to how the Government saw fit and they were given uniforms to wear. Children were not allowed to speak in their native languages or show their native culture in anyway, if the children were to disobey these rules they were abused and tortured (Zalcman, 2016, pg. 79). These unfortunate children had undergone emotional, physical and sexual abuse during their years at these schools (Neeganagwedgin, 2104, pg.31). Two decades after the last of the Residential Schools closed, the residual effects are still significantly present in the Indigenous community today. These affects are clearly seen on the culture, the survivors themselves and as well as on the survivor’s children.
These communities were stripped of their right to teach their children about their culture and even had their language taken away from them (Neeganagwedgin, 2104, pg. 33). The Government banned their cultural songs and dances and made it impossible for them to lead a “normal” life. Looking back at everything the Indigenous cultures lived through it is unbelievable…

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