Factors Leading To The Creation Of Residential Schools In Canada

3555 words - 15 pages

The holocaust in Germany was an ethnic genocide the wiped out millions of Jews in Europe during World War II. They were rounded up and excluded from the general public, because they were an inferior race and therefore not human beings. They were put into ghettos that were exclusive to Jews and were later sent to concentration camps where they were exterminated or worked to death. This happened because Hitler, along with some of Germany displayed prejudices towards the Jewish people. Similarly, Canada from the late 1800's believed that the aboriginal people of Canada were savages and needed to be assimilated into the better way of life. The government felt that they were no good and needed to be erased of their traditional culture and taught differently. By doing so, it also gave added benefits to Canada economy by providing a new workforce of aboriginal people and diminishing treaties that were in place between Canada and the aboriginals. This assimilation would turn violent due to the abuses of the churches that were running daily operations of schools. These experiences would cause many after affects long after the residential school era ends. The residential schools turned into a failed ethnic genocide of aboriginal peoples in Canada that is comparable and no better to the genocide of the Jews in Germany during World War II. This paper will examine the factors leading to the creating of residential schools and will also look at the type of abuses upon the aboriginal children and the after affects.

Residential schools were erected for several reasons, such as assimilation to Canadian culture and surprisingly for economic factors. Residential schooling was a concept that dated back to the 1800's. Three residential schools were opened in the prairies in 1883 and not long after, in 1884 the infamous Indian act was changed so that attendance to residential schools for first nation’s children was compulsory. The primary reasons why residential schools started were the fact that the Canadian government thought it was best to assimilate the Indian culture into the right "Canadian way of living". The Indians were seen as unsanitary, and were savage like in their nature, which Canadians thought should be changed by forcibly adapting them to Canadian values and culture. They would start off by working on the children, because they were younger, easier to teach and easier to manipulate, and when taught, they could grow up to have children of their own that are brought up with the same values learnt in residential schools, slowly and surely, eliminating "the Indian problem".

The aboriginal way of life is largely based on surviving on the land together as a community, in ways some people may think is unorthodox or uncleanly and had mindsets that they were uncivilized, which lead some to believe that something must be done to fix them. Of course it would seem like a great cause, as they thought they were doing them a favor, because they would be...

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