Week 5 discusses what will go down in history as the most barbaric, brutal, devastating, inhuman, immoral, malevolent, iniquitous, malignant, dishonourable*, degenerate, atrocious, abhorrent (I looked up synonyms for “evil”) time in Canada’s history.
*Not only were the actions dishonourable towards Indigenous cultures, but also towards the British empire, Canadian government, Roman Catholic Church, Church of England, Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church, and settlers for their part in undertaking, allowing, or ignoring such vile actions.
Here are some facts:
– over a 125-year period, more than 150,000 children were forcibly removed from their homes and placed into residential schools.
– children as young as three years were placed into residential schools.
– the model for residential schools from the late 1800’s onwards was based on industrial schools, more akin to manual labour camps than educational institutions
– education of the children involved half day of reading and writing and half day of manual labour
– “the aim of education is to destroy the Indian” (the Davin Report, 1879, as quoted on page 10 of Week 5: Killing the Indian in the Child Course Notes).
– “even war seldom shows as large a percentage of fatalities as does the education system we have imposed on our Indian wards” (Dr. Peter Bryce, Medical Inspector for the Department of Indian Affairs, 1907, as quoted on page 11 of Week 5: Killing the Indian in the Child Course Notes).
– only 58% of all children survived the residential school system
– St. Anne’s Catholic Residential School, 1904-1973, had an electric chair in the basement for disciplinary purposes
– throughout the Nuremburg Trials (when the world brought the Nazis to trial for their horrific experimentations on unwilling subjects), the Canadian residential schools were experimenting on how starvation affects children (Paediatrics Child Health, 2014)
– “in these experiments, efforts were made to control as many factors as possible, even when they harmed the research subjects” (Paediatrics Child Health, 2014)
– the last residential school closed in 1996
Other than indicated, facts were obtained from Week 5: Killing the Indian in the Child Course Notes.
See my blog, Learning About Research, for more information on the Nuremburg Trials and the unethical experiments in Canada and the USA at that time: https://marthaurquhart.com/2016/07/11/learning-about-research/
Week 6’s lesson: A Modern Indian?
You can access the MOOC through: https://www.coursera.org/learn/indigenous-canada#faq