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First peoples in Canada - Research Paper Example

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The Residential School System Customer Name Tutor Name University Name Outline Introduction The Residential School System Systematic undermining of Aboriginal culture The system was abusive to children The system failed its purpose of educating children Conclusion Summaries References Introduction Mistakes in policy formulation can often be costly, in some cases costing lives, in others resulting to a lot pain and still in others leading to lose of culture…
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First peoples in Canada
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First peoples in Canada

The Residential School System The residential school system systematically undermined the culture of the Aboriginals and insinuated that it was not worth adopting or following at all costs. Aboriginal children were forcefully separated from their families for lengthy periods of time. During this separation, the children were given strict rules not to talk in their own language and do anything that is related to their culture. Breaking of these rules would lead to sever punishments (Hanson, 2013). It is a common knowledge that culture is passed down generations by the process of parents-children value transfers. By separating children from their parents for long durations of time, it was impossible for the Aboriginal culture to be passed down. The federal government and churches were aware of this because this was the chief objective of this school system – no wonder this system has been referred as a form of cultural genocide. In deed when the Prime minister Stephen Harper issued an official apology in regard to residential school system, he said that the system was based on a wrong assumption that “Aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal” (Hanson, 2013, p. 1). It is therefore clear that the system was dehumanizing and directly insinuated that the Aboriginal culture was not worth following being inferior. The conditions in the school system were abusive and logically the system did not qualify to use the term ‘school’ in its title. Residential school staff has been accused of great abuses to which students were subjected to. The abuses alleged were physical, sexual, emotional and psychological (Hanson, 2013). According to Miller, the residential school system offered a net negative experience for students – students were said to look back with pain after passing through the system. Children spent a lot of time at the schools and never obtained the emotional support needed by children from their parents. Food was not enough for them and the clothes they were given were shabby and not warm enough especially for the winter seasons (Miller, 2012). This must have been psychologically disturbing to the children taking into consideration their tender ages – 16 years and below. The fact that they were constantly told their culture was inferior and they should never speak their native language must equally have been disturbing (Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 2013). Former students of this system have been pressing through litigation for compensation for suffering they were subjected to under this system. As an indication that students were abused under this system, the federal government has been undertaking measure to show its remorse. One such step is “the $1.9-billion compensation package for the survivors of abuse at Aboriginal residential schools” (Miller, 2012, p. 1). Students in the system were abused and their dignity was not upheld – according to Hanson (2013), many of them died due to the conditions and punishments. The experiences that students underwent in this system were dehumanizing. This system did not educate students as was expected being a school but instead just wasted their time. This system up to the 1950s operated on a ... Read More
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