Canada's Residential Schools

Cultural Genocide

What were residential schools?

Residential schools were a way to deprive natives of their culture and religion. Young children were forced to learn Christianity and the American way of living. Over 18,000 youth attended 130 schools across Canada. Presence was mandatory, parents would be imprisoned if they did not send their children. Natives endured very harsh conditions. Some experienced physical and sexual abuse by the staff or other students at the schools (Residential School Survivor Speaks to ADHS Students).

Who ran the schools?

Religious organizations mainly ran the schools. The learning and living of natives took place in their churches. Most denominations that controlled the schools were the Anglican Church, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian Church, Roman Catholic Church,and United Church of Canada. All of their targets were, the natives living in Canada. As the religious missionaries gained more power over the natives, Phil Fontaine, the leader of the Association of Manitoba Chiefs, brought the issue to the government's attention. "In 1996 the commission reported "recommended a separate public inquiry into residential schools." (CBCnews) Shortly after that, some of the last schools were closing down.

There were about 130 residential schools across Canada.

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Timeline of Events

What was the purpose of residential schools?

""According to the statement of claim, the intent of this policy was to educate Indian day students in a manner which caused them to loose their language and culture. This is alleged wrong..." (Dene Moore). Catholic missionaries took away student's Indian culture and replaced it with their own Christian faith. They thought their was only, one correct way to worship God, and to them, it was Christianity. Native children were deprived of their culture and religion.