Residential School Reconciliation Analysis

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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 …show more content…
This sentiment is seen in proponents of the reconciliation process. Reconciliation is described to be a three-fold strategy by Victoria Freeman. She argues that becoming reconciled means to accept something unpleasant, that no matter how much restitution is offered: “nothing settlers can ever do will fully make up or restore what was lost or damaged through colonialism.” Aboriginal people have to reconcile that non-Aboriginal people are in Canada by way of the treaties. The fallacy in this argument is in its definition. Expecting forgiveness is not a good reason to state remorse. The process of reconciliation takes time and needs a multifaceted approach. Robert Arthur Alexie’s Porcupines and China Dolls, adds to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s narrative of turning the page on a dark chapter. This viewpoint leads non-Aboriginal people to deny a colonial past, enhancing the notion of a benign Canada. By claiming that it is all in the past without identifying genocide, the state’s responsibility of the issue is fully erased. This can be seen in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology, which acknowledges that wrongs were committed, but contains these within a past exception to the rule. In effect, the apology did not constitute a movement toward a new relationship between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal peoples. Instead, this message gave undertones to …show more content…
It is in the intrinsic motives of international image that genocide is circumvented as admissible. If the Canadian government is to lay claim that it no longer has the values that lead to policies of the IRS system, then it would have to admit to a colonial past of assimilation. The mandates of the TRC are not based on the protection of children; rather, to legitimize the government’s guilt in a mea culpa. These sentiments take shape by the current attitudes toward the reconciliation of redress. The accomplishment of apologizing and the TRC is in resolving the guilt of a century policy of

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