The idea behind residential schools

sir-john-aHere’s what Canada’s first Prime Minister said in Parliament about residential schools:

When the school is on the reserve, the child lives with its parents, who are savages, and though he may learn to read and write, his habits and training mode of thought are Indian. He is simply a savage who can read and write. …Indian children should be withdrawn as much as possible from the parental influence, and the only way to do that would be to put them in central training industrial schools where they will acquire the habits and modes of thought of white men.”

Separating children from their parents is the most heartbreaking part of all this, and the first sin of the residential school system. (Yes, I know little rich kids have been sent off to boarding school for centuries–it’s probably bad for them too.)

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