Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Canadian residential schools

"From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 aboriginal children were forced to attend Christian schools to rid them of their native cultures and integrate them into Canadian society."

"Children inducted into residential schools were forbidden from speaking their native languages and subjected to routine physical  abuse, inadequate nutrition and neglect. Sexual abuse was common, according to the survivors who testified at commission hearings throughout the country."

"They were stripped of their self-respect and they were stripped of their identity..." 

"More than 3,000 children died and were often buried in unmarked graves without any identification or notice to their parents. Death rates among indigenous children at residential schools were higher than among Canadian soldiers in the second world war, the report found. These were schools that often had no playgrounds but always had graveyards, according to commissioner Marie Wilson."

"Parents … had their children ripped out of their arms, taken to a distant and unknown place, never to be seen again," she said. "Buried in an unmarked grave, long ago forgotten and overgrown. Think of that. Bear that. Imagine that."

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