Residential Schools

For Aboriginal People

What was a residential school?

A residential school is a boarding school for the aboriginal people.

What was the purpose of a residential school?

The purpose of a residential school is to make the aboriginal people adapt to the Canadian ways of life. They also wanted the aboriginal people to adopt Christianity. They thought if they take the child(ren) away from their parents and sent them to a boarding school which they can't speak their language and the can't practice their traditional spiritual beliefs.

What was the living conditions at the school?

The conditions at the residential school was very bad.All the students had their hair cut short and everybody had to wear uniforms. Boys and girls were separated from each other. Sibling of the same gender rarely got to communicate with each other. Students were forbidden to speak or practice their custom or traditions. Teachers give students terrible punishment if they found out. The education was very poor at the residential school. 18 years old student will only get the education of a grade 5 students. Most of the time students were working on chores. The students were also being abused in many ways. The students often got sick and died at the residential school.

What did the students eat at the residential school?

The food the students ate at the residential school was not nutritious. They were forced to eat rotten foot. The students were always hungry and thirsty. They ate porridge or stew. The food was under cooked or burnt. Students often got sick of the food. None of the students like the food, some students give the food to others when teachers are not looking. There are always students who are so hungry that they want to eat any food.

What are the things that happened at the residential schools?

  • Forbidden to speak their languages
  • Needed to speak French or English
  • Adopt Christianity religion
  • Use toxic chemicals to clean themselves
  • Lack of nutritious diet
  • Forced to rotten or spoiled food
  • Got assaulted in many ways
  • No access to hot or warm water

What are some of the punishment faced by students?

  • Needle inserted into tongues for speaking their languages
  • Leather straps used to hit students
  • Beating with fists
  • Use boiling water to burn students
  • Starvation
  • Locking in small space for many day without food