🔥🔥🔥 Innu Tribe Research Paper
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Remember that the United States was able to establish itself based on the dispossession of many Indigenous peoples. But this particular land was specifically designated as a burnt-earth campaign, which would be recognized today as a genocidal strategy. And so they came through our territories in , not only burnt all of the crops, but they also forcibly displaced large communities of Cayuga people. So, their return to the land right now is actually quite profound. The piece is about deep reclamation of land by the Cayuga in conjunction with the complexity of the beaded bird.
And I was inspired by this image of thousands of birds darkening the sky. The beaded bird for Tuscarora is probably, you know, one of the most fanciful, yet at the same time meaningful pieces of beadwork. Tuscarora beadwork, and beadwork of all of the Haudenosaunee actually has a direct relationship to our cosmological narratives. But you have to understand the cosmological narrative in order to see it in the beadwork. So the piece is a collaboration on that level. Transcript Information Harvesting is the most important part of the whole relationship of what we have, of what we do. You have to know your environment. We have to be botanists, we have to know our woods. We have to be entomologists these days.
We have to know about bugs. We have to recognize if the trees are in the first stage of the emerald ash borer. Hopkins, Michigan. My piece speaks about the past and the present together. And today, people love beauty. They love beautiful things. So when we do go into the woods, there might be 40 black ash trees, but only one to four black ash trees that are going to be suitable for baskets. So a basket tree is much different than just a black ash tree. Our black ash teachings also teach us to work together because we cannot do this job alone. We need our men to help us carry trees. Our children are always watching, and so we have to set those examples for them of helping who needs help. In my family, because I come from a long line of weavers, form follows function.
That simply means that if you see a basket with a fish eye on it that that was always a clam basket or you could recognize a seaweed gathering basket, it was always used for only gathering seaweed. Form follows function. That was what I was always taught to believe. It was meant to keep you warm. He had a couple suggestions and I kept shooting him down. My contemporary pieces were so well received, my mind just went insane. I started thinking of all these things, I started doing, you know, I could make a necktie out of cedar bark.
I can make a bow tie. I can make this, I can make that. Lisa Telford , Haida, born PochaHaida , My name is Jessa Rae Growing Thunder. She grew up in a beautiful time on the Reservation in Montana. She grew up with all her grandmas. And they were all bead-workers. Joyce: My grandma Helen was a big inspiration to me. All of my grandmas. I used to have my beads laid out all the time, and they were raised around it. Juanita: Everyday, right? Joyce: Yeah. Jessa Rae: We all do! Juanita: She has to bead every day. She does. You know this is our responsibility.
Where it came from. All of our pieces have stories. You understand what that was about and why we do that. And not every design can go on anything. But a lot of our pieces we make tell personal stories, or stories from our family. Jessa Rae: And even the dress that was chosen for the show. I mean that dress tells a story. That dress tells our history.
Juanita: The Giveaway Horse Dress. So she was asked, and so she was thinking about what design she could put on this dress and she kept going back to her grandparents. And she kept going back to her roots. And she said one of the best memories she had was her grandpa getting a horse ready that he knew he was gonna take to that celebration. Jessa Rae: Ben Gray Hawk. Juanita: Ben Gray Hawk. And he would honor. You know, he would honor one of the grandchildren, one of the nephews, one of the nieces. And he would say something about them. You know, he would talk about them in a good way. And this beautiful horse with a beautiful war bonnet on it.
All the men would be gathered on the outside of the arbor. When he was ready, he would release that horse and that horse would take off running. Whoever could catch that horse on foot, could keep that horse. And that was how he honored his family. You know, you always give things. Whatever you have, you give it. They know how to do it all now. The Curatorial Advisors from the Northeast felt it was important to have a wampum belt included in the exhibit as part of an understanding and to deepen the understanding of our relationship to the notion of a bead, and why beadwork is so significant. And it really comes from our deep relationship to wampum.
It is the moment where the Peacemaker consoles Hiawatha for the loss of his daughters. And so the actual materiality of wampum is today recognized as the quahog shell, but at that moment, it was a concept. The material could have been a sumac hollowed out, it could have been a bird bone, and then it finally transitioned to these shells. The ensemble I did is called "Walking Through Time. Years I envisioned what this coat was going to look like, and I was never ready to attempt it.
I actually purchased that hat. I purchased it with the intent of putting it together with the coat. I had purchased that hat years, and years, and years ago. It sat in my workshop, sat where I could look at it every single day. The way I work, I do not sketch. I never sketched anything. I made that coat. And I actually made that coat so I could wear it. I wanted this coat really just to have a reflection of who our women were and still are. I look at it as the beauty of our women. Transcript Information My name is Tessie Naranjo.
What that means to me is that you use your hands when you felt like making something. And always in times past, you used your hands to make functional things: bowls for eating from, bowls for ceremonial use. It was all about function. I will make bowls. I will try to make bean pots. I will make other things, but only for function. I have a struggle with decorative artwork. I have an issue. I used to have an issue, I may still have an issue, with the idea even of a museum and what that stands for. If a museum is to be established, and is established, then I become joyful when I know that it is interacting with tribal communities in some way. So that there is a relationship that is established. But just for decorative displays.
I cannot go there. I cannot. Mimbres artists Sherds and bowl , c. I started at an early age playing with clay because my mother was a potter, as well as her mother. But as a very young child, I was um. And I found that if I created small figurines with clay, I was able to show an image that I could use to communicate to my mother. So, for instance, like when I started school, I was pretty miserable. And so I came home and I would coil a little figure of a girl crying on a school desk. It is to me, my first language. Well, sometimes I think of myself as a clay woman or mud woman. The earth is our mother—very much so. And so you treat her in a way that is your mother. Careful in how you do that. The piece in the exhibition is called the "Nap. During the time in my life that I was a mother of young children, and of course, trying to give them a nap.
So, if you lined them up in time-wise, it would be like a 3-D journal of my life. And this piece in particular is the feeling I was having of children crawling all over me. I mean they need a nap, but I really want a nap. Also Muskogee Cree, my mother is Cree, my dad is Osage. And my Indian name is [ ]. Being taught how to sew at a very young age; I go back to fabric over and over and over.
And want to utilize fabric and textile into my work. I thought, I want to make a series of Osage Wedding Coats. An Osage Wedding Coat is based on a military style coat from the s, or maybe a little bit earlier. And these coats were given to Osage men. So that is one way I have heard that we obtained the coats. Another one is that when delegations of Osage people went to Washington, D. So they brought these coats back to the Osage tribe, to the people.
The men were very big, and so these coats were too small for them. So they handed them over to the women. And the women started using them, and embellishing them and kind of going to an Osage aesthetic—started using them in a ceremony that is arranged marriages. And they started being used as a way to, what we call Paying for the Drum.
My whole thought with this was that this coat is very symbolic, and has evolved to this time period today. It holds within it this wonderful, unique history. True ownership, they claimed, could come only with European-style agriculture. Underlying these arguments was the belief that the colonizers were bringing civilization to savage people who could never civilize themselves. European writers and politicians often arranged racial groups in a hierarchy, each with their own set of mental and physical capabilities.
Beneath the Europeans, in descending order, were Asians, Africans, and the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and Australia. Some people held that Europeans had reached the pinnacle of civilization through a long and arduous process. In this view, the other peoples of the world had been held back by such factors as climate, geography, and migration. Through a civilizing process, Europeans could, however, raise the people of the world up to their level. This view was replaced in the nineteenth century by a racism that chose to cloak itself in the language of science, and held that the peoples of the world had differing abilities.
Some argued that, for genetic reasons, there were limits on the ability of the less-developed peoples to improve. In some cases, it was thought, contact with superior races could lead to only one outcome: the extinction of the inferior peoples. These ideas shaped global policies towards Indigenous peoples. In the year that Rosebery gave this speech, the Canadian government opened its first industrial residential school for Aboriginal people at Battleford on the Canadian Prairies. While they often worked in isolation and under difficult conditions, missionaries were representatives of worldwide organizations that enjoyed the backing of influential individuals in some of the most powerful nations of the world, and which came to amass considerable experience in transforming different cultures.
Christian missionaries played a complex but central role in the European colonial project. Their presence helped justify the extension of empires, since they were visibly spreading the word of God to the heathen. If their efforts were unsuccessful, the missionaries might conclude that those who refused to accept the Christian message could not expect the protection of the church or the law, thus clearing the way for their destruction. They might, for example, seek to have traders give fair prices and to have government officials provide relief in times of need, but they also worked to undermine relationships to the land, language, religion, family relations, educational practices, morality, and social custom.
Missionary zeal was also fuelled by the often violent division that had separated the Christian world into Catholic and Protestant churches. Both Catholics and Protestants invested heavily in the creation of missionary organizations that were intended to engage overseas missionary work. The most well-known Catholic orders were the Franciscans, the Jesuits, and the Oblates.
The Oblates originally focused their attention on the poor and working classes of France, but from the s onwards, they engaged in overseas missionary work. They could not have done this work without the support of a number of female religious orders, most particularly the Sisters of Charity the Grey Nuns , the Sisters of Providence, the Sisters of St. The British-based Church Missionary Society was also a global enterprise.
It used this money to support male missionaries, unmarried females, and ordained pastors around the world. The Catholics and Anglicans were not the only European-based missionary societies to take up work in Canada. Presbyterians and Methodists, originally drawing support from the United Kingdom, undertook missionary work among Aboriginal people in the early nineteenth century. On the coast of Labrador, members of the Moravian Brotherhood, an order that had its origins in what is now the Czech Republic, carried out missionary work from the early eighteenth century onwards. Missionaries viewed Aboriginal culture as a barrier to both spiritual salvation and the ongoing existence of Aboriginal people. They were determined to replace traditional economic pursuits with European-style peasant agriculture.
They believed that cultural transformation required the imposition of social control and separation from both traditional communities and European settlements. In short, they sought to impose the foreign and transforming world of the residential school. Colonization was undertaken to meet the perceived needs of the imperial powers. The justification offered for colonialism—the need to bring Christianity and civilization to the Indigenous peoples of the world—may have been a sincerely and firmly held belief, but as a justification for intervening in the lives of other peoples, it does not stand up to legal, moral, or even logical scrutiny. The papacy had no authority to give away lands that belonged to Indigenous people. The Doctrine of Discovery cannot serve as the basis for a legitimate claim to the lands that were colonized, if for no other reason than that the so-called discovered lands were already well known to the Indigenous peoples who had inhabited them for thousands of years.
The wars of conquest that took place to strip Indigenous peoples of their lands around the globe were not morally just wars; Indigenous peoples were not, as colonists often claimed, subhuman, and neither were they living in violation of any universally agreed-upon set of values. There was no moral imperative to impose Christianity on the Indigenous peoples of the world. Indigenous peoples had systems that were complete unto themselves and met their needs. Those systems were dynamic; they changed over time and were capable of continued change. This universalizing of European values—so central to the colonial project—that was extended to North America served as the prime justification and rationale for the imposition of a residential school system on the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
In Canada, residential schooling was closely linked to colonization and missionary crusades. In the first decade of that century, the New England Company, a British-based missionary society, funded a boarding school operation in Sussex Vale, New Brunswick. In this their object is identical with that of every good common school. After the Canadian state was established in , the federal government began making small per-student grants to many of the church-run boarding schools. Federal government involvement in residential schooling did not begin in earnest until the s. The following year, British Columbia was brought into Confederation by the promise of a continental rail link. Canadian politicians intended to populate the newly acquired lands with settlers from Europe and Ontario.
These settlers were expected to buy goods produced in central Canada and ship their harvests by rail to western and eastern ports and then on to international markets. Despite all these pressures, the government took a slow and piecemeal approach to Treaty making. Through the Treaties, Aboriginal peoples were seeking agricultural supplies and training as well as relief during periods of epidemic or famine in a time of social and economic transition. The education provisions also varied in different Treaties, but promised to pay for schools on reserves or teachers.
The federal government was slow to live up to its Treaty obligations. For example, many First Nations were settled on reserves that were much smaller than they were entitled to, while others were not provided with any reserve. The commitment to establish on-reserve schools was also ignored in many cases. As a result, parents who wished to see their children educated were forced to send them to residential schools. At the end of this process, Aboriginal people were expected to have ceased to exist as a distinct people with their own governments, cultures, and identities. Women, for example, could lose status simply by marrying a man who did not have status.
Men could lose status in a number of ways, including graduating from a university. First Nations people were unwilling to surrender their Aboriginal identity in this manner. Residential schooling was always more than simply an educational program: it was an integral part of a conscious policy of cultural genocide. Further evidence of this assault on Aboriginal identity can be found in amendments to the Indian Act banning a variety of Aboriginal cultural and spiritual practices. The Aboriginal right to self-government was also undermined. The Indian Act gave the federal government the authority to veto decisions made by band councils and to depose chiefs and councillors.
Over the years, the government also assumed greater authority as to how reserve land could be disposed of: in some cases, entire reserves were relocated against the will of the residents. It was in keeping with this intent to assimilate Aboriginal peoples and, in the process, to eliminate its government-to-government relationship with First Nations that the federal government dramatically increased its involvement in residential schooling in the s.
In December , J. In the following year, Nicholas Davin, a failed Conservative candidate, carried out a brief study of the boarding schools that the United States government had established for Native Americans. He recommended that Canada establish a series of such schools on the Prairies. Davin acknowledged that a central element of the education provided at these schools would be directed towards the destruction of Aboriginal spirituality. The decision to continue to rely on the churches to administer the schools on a day-today basis had serious consequences. At various times, each denomination involved in school operation established boarding schools without government support or approval, and then lobbied later for per capita funding.
When the churches concluded, quite legitimately, that the per capita grant they received was too low, they sought other types of increases in school funding. Building on their network of missions in the Northwest, the Catholics quickly came to dominate the field, usually operating twice as many schools as did the Protestant denominations. Among the Protestant churches, the Anglicans were predominant, establishing and maintaining more residential schools than the Methodists or the Presbyterians. The United Church, created by a union of Methodist and Presbyterian congregations, took over most of the Methodist and Presbyterian schools in the mids.
Presbyterian congregations that did not participate in the union established the Presbyterian Church in Canada and retained responsibility for two residential schools. In addition to these national denominations, a local Baptist mission ran a residence for Aboriginal students in Whitehorse in the s and s, and a Mennonite ministry operated three schools in northwestern Ontario in the s and s. Each faith, in its turn, claimed government discrimination against it. Competition for converts meant that churches sought to establish schools in the same locations as their rivals, leading to internal divisions within communities and expensive duplication of services.
The model for these residential schools for Aboriginal children, both in Canada and the United States, did not come from the private boarding schools to which members of the economic elites in Britain and Canada sent their children. Instead, the model came from the reformatories and industrial schools that were being constructed in Europe and North America for the children of the urban poor.
At the Halifax Boys Industrial School, first offenders were strapped, and repeat offenders were placed in cells on a bread-and-water ration. From there, they might be sent to the penitentiary. There, the first in a series of large-scale, government-operated, boarding schools for Native Americans opened in in a former army barracks in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The first one opened in Battleford in what is now Saskatchewan in It was placed under the administration of an Anglican minister. Both these schools were administered by principals nominated by the Roman Catholic Oblate order. The federal government not only built these schools, but it also assumed all the costs of operating them. Recruiting students for these schools was difficult. According to the Indian Affairs annual report, in , there were only twenty-seven students at the three schools.
Unlike the church-run boarding schools, which provided a limited education with a heavy emphasis on religious instruction, the industrial schools were intended to prepare First Nations people for integration into Canadian society by teaching them basic trades, particularly farming. Generally, industrial schools were larger than boarding schools, were located in urban areas, and, although church-managed, usually required federal approval prior to construction. The boarding schools were smaller institutions, were located on or near reserves, and provided a more limited education. The differences between the industrial schools and the boarding schools eroded over time.
In justifying the investment in industrial schools to Parliament in , Public Works Minister Hector Langevin argued that. If you leave them in the family they may know how to read and write, but they still remain savages, whereas by separating them in the way proposed, they acquire the habits and tastes—it is to be hoped only the good tastes—of civilized people.
The federal government entered into residential schooling at a time when it was colonizing Aboriginal lands in western Canada. It recognized that, through the Treaties, it had made commitments to provide Aboriginal people with relief in periods of economic distress. It also feared that as traditional Aboriginal economic pursuits were marginalized or eliminated by settlers, the government might be called upon to provide increased relief. In this context, the federal government chose to invest in residential schooling for a number of reasons.
First, it would provide Aboriginal people with skills that would allow them to participate in the coming market-based economy. Second, it would further their political assimilation. It was hoped that students who were educated in residential schools would give up their status and not return to their reserve communities and families. This was never forthcoming. In announcing the construction of the three initial industrial schools, Indian Commissioner Edgar Dewdney said that although the starting costs would be high, he could see no reason why the schools would not be largely self-supporting in a few years, due to the skills in farming, raising stock, and trades that were being taught to the students. The government believed that between the forced labour of students and the poorly paid labour of missionaries, it could operate a residential school system on a nearly costfree basis.
The missionaries and the students were indeed a source of cheap labour—but the government was never happy with the quality of the teaching and, no matter how hard students worked, their labour never made the schools self-supporting. Soon after the government established the industrial schools, it began to cut salaries. The government never adequately responded to the belated discovery that the type of residential school system that officials had envisioned would cost far more than politicians were prepared to fund.
In the early twentieth century, chronic underfunding led to a health crisis in the schools and a financial crisis for the missionary societies. Indian Affairs, with the support of leading figures in the Protestant churches, sought to dramatically reduce the number of residential schools, replacing them with day schools. The government abandoned the plan when it failed to receive the full support of all the churches involved in the operation of the schools.
This resulted in a shortterm improvement. However, inflation eroded the value of the grant increase, and the grant was actually reduced repeatedly during the Great Depression and at the start of the Second World War. Funding for residential schools was always lower than funding for comparable institutions in Canada and the United States that served the general population. It was not until that the federal government put in place regulations relating to residential school attendance. Under the regulations adopted in that year, residential school attendance was voluntary.
Even without a warrant, Indian Affairs employees and constables had the authority to arrest a student in the act of escaping from a residential school and return the child to the school. It was departmental policy that no child could be discharged without departmental approval—even if the parents had enrolled the child voluntarily. The government had no legislative basis for this policy. Instead, it relied on the admission form that parents were supposed to sign. In some cases, school staff members signed these forms.
In the s, students were to be discharged from residential school when they turned sixteen. Despite this, William Graham, the Indian commissioner, refused to authorize discharge until the students turned eighteen. He estimated that, on this basis, he rejected approximately applications for discharge a year. In , the Indian Act was amended to allow the government to compel any First Nations child to attend residential school. However, residential school was never compulsory for all First Nations children. In most years, there were more First Nations children attending Indian Affairs day schools than residential schools.
During the early s, this pattern was reversed. In the —45 school year, there were 8, students in residential schools, and 7, students in Indian Affairs day schools. In that year, there were reportedly 28, school-aged Aboriginal children. This meant that The residential school system operated with few regulations; those that did exist were in large measure weakly enforced. The Canadian government never developed anything approaching the education acts and regulations by which provincial governments administered public schools. The key piece of legislation used in regulating the residential school system was the Indian Act. This was a multi-purpose piece of legislation that defined and limited First Nations life in Canada. The Act contained no education-related provisions until There were no residential school—specific regulations until These dealt almost solely with attendance and truancy.
It was recognized by those who worked within the system that the level of regulation was inadequate. The education section of the Indian Act and the residential school regulations adopted in were each only four pages in length. It is also apparent that many key people within the system had little knowledge of the existing rules and regulations.
In , an Indian agent in Hagersville, Ontario, inquired of departmental headquarters if there had been any changes in the regulations regarding education since the adoption of a set of education regulations in His question suggests he was completely unaware of major changes to the Indian Act regarding education that had supplanted previous regulations in The system was so unregulated that in , after Canada had been funding residential schools for years, Indian Affairs Deputy Minister J.
From the s onwards, residential school enrolment climbed annually. According to federal government annual reports, the peak enrolment of 11, was reached in the —57 school year. Most of the residential schools were located in the northern and western regions of the country. With the exception of Mount Elgin and the Mohawk Institute, the Ontario schools were all in northern or northwestern Ontario. The only school in the Maritimes did not open until The number of schools began to decline in the s. Between and , for example, ten school buildings were destroyed by fire.
Prior to that time, residential schooling in the North was largely restricted to the Yukon and the Mackenzie Valley in the Northwest Territories. Large residences were built in communities such as Inuvik, Yellowknife, Whitehorse, Churchill, and eventually Iqaluit formerly Frobisher Bay. This expansion was undertaken despite reports that recommended against the establishment of residential schools, since they would not provide children with the skills necessary to live in the North, skills they otherwise would have acquired in their home communities. Many of the early advocates of residential schooling in Canada expected that the schools would take in both Aboriginal children who had status under the Indian Act in other words, they were Indians as defined by the Act as well as Aboriginal children who, for a variety of reasons, did not have status.
There was a strong concern that if the federal government began providing funding for the education of some of the children the provinces and territories were responsible for, it would find itself subject to having to take responsibility for the rest. As late as , only Inuit students were receiving full-time schooling in the North. It was only at this point that large numbers of Inuit children began attending residential schools. The impact of the schools on the Inuit was complex. Some children were sent to schools thousands of kilometres from their homes, and went years without seeing their parents.
In other cases, parents who had previously been supporting themselves by following a seasonal cycle of land- and marine-based resource harvesting began settling in communities with hostels so as not to be separated from their children. Because of the majority of the Aboriginal population in two of the three northern territories, the per capita impact of the schools in the North is higher than anywhere else in the country. And, because the history of these schools is so recent, not only are there many living Survivors today, but there are also many living parents of Survivors. For these reasons, both the intergenerational impacts and the legacy of the schools, the good and the bad, are particularly strongly felt in the North.
By , the Indian Affairs residential school system, starved for funding for fifteen years, was on the verge of collapse. One was to expand the number of Indian Affairs day schools. From — 46 to —55, the number of First Nations students in Indian Affairs day schools increased from 9, to 17, The integration policy was opposed by some of the church organizations. Roman Catholic church officials argued that residential schooling was preferable for three reasons: 1 teachers in public schools were not prepared to deal with Aboriginal students; 2 students in public schools often expressed racist attitudes towards Aboriginal students; and 3 Aboriginal students felt acute embarrassment over their impoverished conditions, particularly in terms of the quality of the clothing they wore and the food they ate.
From the s onwards, residential schools increasingly served as orphanages and child-welfare facilities. They failed to provide their students with the appropriate level of personal and emotional care children need during their childhood and adolescence. This failure applied to all students, but was of particular significance in the case of the growing number of social-welfare placements in the schools. The residential school environment was not a safer or more loving haven.
These children spent their entire childhoods in an institution. The closure of residential schools, which commenced in earnest in , was accompanied by a significant increase in the number of children being taken into care by child-welfare agencies. In , the federal government drastically restructured the residential school system by dividing the schools into residences and day schools, each with a principal or administrator. They were, however, no longer directly responsible for the facilities.
Four small hostels were also operated in the western and central Arctic. The last of these, located at Cambridge Bay, did not close until the late s. Having assumed control over the southern Canadian schools in , the federal government commenced what would prove to be a protracted process of closing the system down. According to the Indian Affairs annual report for —69, the department was responsible for sixty residences. Two years later, the number was down to forty-five. By then, First Nations communities had already taken over one residential school. In the summer of , parents of children at the Blue Quills, Alberta, school occupied the school, demanding that its operation be turned over to a First Nations education authority.
They took this measure in response to reports that the school was to be turned into a residence and their children were to be educated at a nearby public school. The Blue Quills conflict was the result of both long-standing local dissatisfaction with the administration of the school and First Nations opposition to the policy of integration. The Christie residence in Tofino, British Columbia, was also operated briefly by an Aboriginal authority. The federal government, however, remained committed to the closing of the facilities. Between and , the last seven residences in southern Canada were closed.
Starting in the s, territorial governments, in which former residential school students were serving as cabinet ministers, also began expanding the number of day schools as part of a campaign to close residential schools in the North. The last large hostel in the Yukon closed in The closing of the schools did not mark the end of the history of residential schooling in Canada. By the s, former students had begun to make Canadians aware of the tremendous harm that the residential school experience had caused to Aboriginal people and Aboriginal communities. As educational institutions, the residential schools were failures, and regularly judged as such.
In , former Regina industrial school principal R. Heron delivered a paper to a meeting of the Regina Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church that was highly critical of the residential school system. From —41 to —60, Many principals and teachers had low expectations of their students. Wikwemikong, Ontario, principal R. Good and moral as they may be, they lack great mental capacity. Mount Elgin principal S. Much of what went on in the classroom was simply repetitious drill. The classrooms were often severely overcrowded. In the minds of some principals, religious training was the most valuable training the schools provided. In , Brandon, Manitoba, principal T. After we had washed and dressed, we headed for the chapel to attend Low mass which was always held at 7 a.
Not surprisingly, many of those who succeeded academically followed careers in the church. Coqualeetza graduate Peter Kelly became a Methodist Church minister. Emmanuel College graduate Edward Ahenakew became an Anglican minister. Others worked for government or taught school. Joseph Dion, a graduate of the Onion Lake school, taught school for many years in Saskatchewan. Still others pursued business and professional careers. A graduate of the Mohawk Institute, N.
Despite these successes, little encouragement generally was offered to students who wished to pursue further education. For many students, classroom life was foreign and traumatic. I took Kindergarten twice because of what happened to me. For much of her time in school, she was frightened or intimidated. I stood up, never got to answer what they were saying when they sat me down. Since the s, Indian Affairs had required residential schools to adopt provincial curricula. Andrew Moore, a secondary school inspector for the Province of Manitoba, told the committee members that Indian Affairs took full responsibility for all aspects of First Nations education, including curriculum.
In , D. The reasons for this failure are clear: the aims of education set forth by the Department are thoroughly confused, the curriculum is inappropriate, and many current practices of the system are not only ill-conceived but actually harmful. The decision to leave curriculum to provincial education departments meant that Aboriginal students were subjected to an education that demeaned their history, ignored their current situation, and did not even recognize them or their families as citizens.
This was one of the reasons for the growing Aboriginal hostility to the Indian Affairs integration policy. An examination of the treatment of Aboriginal people in provincially approved textbooks reveals a serious and deep-rooted problem. In response to a recommendation that textbooks be developed that were relevant to Aboriginal students, Indian Affairs official R. Students also noted that the curriculum belittled their ancestry. And every single day we were reminded. Many students could not identify with the content of the classroom materials.
Some students said that the limits of the education they had received in residential school became apparent when they were integrated into the public school system. Walter Jones never forgot the answer that a fellow student at the Alberni, British Columbia, school was given when he asked if he would be able to go to Grade Twelve. Some northern schools developed reputations for academic success.
Grandin College in Fort Smith was established originally to recruit young people for the Catholic ministry. A new principal, Jean Pochat, decided to focus on providing young men and women with leadership training. To this day we still talk about them… They treated us as ordinary people. We had never experienced this sort of attitude before and it was, in a way, liberating to be with new teachers that treated you as their equal. Specific teachers were remembered with gratitude. When Roddy Soosay lived in residence, he attended a local public school.
He credited his high school principal at the Ponoka, Alberta, public school for pushing him to succeed. There was one staff member to whom she could tell all her problems. Other students were able to concentrate on their studies. Frederick Ernest Koe said that at Stringer Hall in Inuvik, he devoted all his energies to his school work. My, the fundamental values and good example I had before I went to residential school by my grandfather and my parents, and all the old people on the reserve where I grew up are the ones who made me a good student. Student education was further undermined by the amount of work the students had to do to support the schools.
Because Indian Affairs officials had anticipated that the residential schools would be self-sufficient, students were expected to raise or grow and prepare most of the food they ate, to make and repair much of their clothing, and to maintain the schools. Often, as many students, teachers, and inspectors observed, the time allocated for vocational training was actually spent in highly repetitive labour that provided little in the way of training. Rather, it served to maintain the school operations. The half-day system was not a formally mandated system. Some schools did not use it, and those that did use it implemented it on their own terms.
When, in , Indian Affairs education official Russell Ferrier recommended that the Chapleau, Ontario, school implement the half-day system, he had to rely on his memory of visits to other schools in order to describe how the system operated. Indian Affairs had no official written description of the system. While the half-day system was supposed to apply only to the older students, the reality was that every student worked. Above and beyond the half-day that students spent in vocational training, it was not uncommon for them to perform daily chores both before and after school.
As a result, students often spent more than half a day working for the school. At High River, Alberta, in the s, students who were not learning a trade were expected to put in two hours a day of chores in the winter and four hours in the summer. According to Principal E. From the time the schools were opened, parents and inspectors raised concerns about just how much work students were being required to do. Inspector T. The parents cannot understand that the pupils are here to learn how to work as well as to read and write, we therefore cannot at present devote too much time to the former. The students would form a long chain leading from the barge to the furnace room and, with the assistance of the school staff, unload the barge.
The work was inadequately supervised and often dangerous. The school principal, G. From Indian Affairs correspondence, it appears that the accident involved a truck carrying seventy boys who were being taken from the school to the fields to do farm work. Indian Affairs official R. Even though the half-day system was supposedly eliminated in the early s, students continued to be overworked.
Principals regularly reported on their success in suppressing Aboriginal languages. In , Principal E. They talk English in recreation. I scarcely need any coercive means to oblige them to do so. This policy of language suppression continued well into the twentieth century. We were afraid of that, to have our hair cut. I talked Cree and I was abused for that, hit, and made to try to talk English. They threatened us with a strapping if we spoke it, and within a year I lost all of it. They said they thought we were talking about them.
Language use often continued in secret. Mary Englund recalled that while Aboriginal languages were banned at the Mission school in the early twentieth century, children would still speak it to one another. Many of the students came to the school fluent in an Aboriginal language, with little or no understanding of French or English. This trend continued well into the post-war period. For these children, the first few months in the school were disorienting and frightening. Meeka Alivaktuk came to the Pangnirtung school in what is now Nunavut with no knowledge of English. When she failed to obey an instruction because she did not understand it, she was slapped on the hands. She strapped him and then washed his mouth out with soap. The language policy disrupted families.
As a result, he found it almost impossible to communicate with them about the abuse he experienced at the school. Culture was attacked as well as language. Indeed Stoney culture was condemned explicitly and implicitly. When she proudly showed it to one of the nuns, it was taken from her and thrown out. She was told that it was nothing but devilry. School officials did not limit their opposition to Aboriginal culture to the classroom.
In , Gleichen, Alberta, principal John House became involved in a campaign to have two Blackfoot chiefs deposed, in part because of their support for traditional dance ceremonies. Anfield, the principal of the Alert Bay, British Columbia, school, wrote a letter encouraging former students not to participate in local Potlatches, implying that such ceremonies were based on outdated superstition, and led to impoverishment and family neglect. Even when it did not directly disparage Aboriginal culture, the curriculum undermined Aboriginal identity. When you are young, you are not aware of what you are losing as a human being.
It was not until the s that attitudes began to change about the place of Aboriginal language and culture in residential schools. They took it right out of my mouth. I never spoke it again. As a result of their experience in the schools, they raised their daughter to speak English. Through the residential schools, Indian Affairs and church officials sought to extend their control into the most intimate aspects of the lives of Aboriginal children. Indian Affairs officials believed that because the department had spent money educating students, it had gained the right to determine whom they married.
The government not only encouraged marriage between students, but it also began to make marriage part of the process of getting out of residential school. Principals regularly reported and celebrated student marriages, and, indeed, did often arrange them. The ex-pupils who marry other ex-pupils are better able to retain the habits of civilized life, which they acquired at the school. Efforts were also made to block marriages deemed to be unsuitable. Principals continued to arrange marriages into the s.
In , the principal of the Roman Catholic school at Onion Lake prepared a list of students who had turned sixteen and who, he believed, should not be discharged. Then, she would be married to a former pupil. Grub was the beginning and end of all conversations. Sometimes, they would share these treats with the girls at the school. Weeks might go by without any fish or meat; sugar and jam were reserved for special occasions. The reports of government inspectors confirm these student memories. I believed it to be barely sufficient for the older pupils, who have now, at fifteen to eighteen years of age, larger apetites [sic] than they will have when older.
I doubt very much whether they ever took a full regulation school meal of bread and dripping, or boiled beef and potatoes. When funding was cut during the Depression of the s, it was the students who paid the price—in more ways than one. At the end of the s, it was discovered that the cook at the Presbyterian school at Kenora was actually selling bread to the students, at the rate of ten cents a loaf. Milk was in constant shortage at many schools, in part due to the poor health and small size of the school dairy herds. Often, the milk was separated, with the skimmed milk served to the children. Inspector W. In the north we find prices sky high. In their home communities, many students had been raised on food that their parents had hunted, fished, or harvested.
These meals were very different from the European diets served at the schools. Daisy Diamond found the food at residential school to be unfamiliar and unpalatable. The food was terrible. Ellen Okimaw, who attended the Fort Albany, Ontario, school, had vivid memories of poorly cooked fish served at the schools. There was a lot of times there I seen other students that threw up and they were forced to eat their own, their own vomit. When they happened to be sick. And they threw up while eating. Some schools did make allowances for traditional foods.
When we brought in hares, we were asked if … there was some members of our nation that came to work in the kitchen, and we asked them to cook the hare for us in the traditional Atikameg way, in order to keep some sort of contact with our traditional food that we had before, before we were separated from our community. Students who spoke of hunger also spoke of their efforts to improve their diet secretly. Woodie Elias recalled being hungry all the time at the Anglican school in Aklavik. There were big pots in there. I remember taking figs from that pot. Complaints about the limited, poorly prepared, monotonous diet were intensified by the fact that at many schools, the students knew the staff members were being served much better fare than they had.
That is what they fed us. We never ate bread. They were stingy them, their own, their own baking. The federal government knowingly chose not to provide schools with enough money to ensure that kitchens and dining rooms were properly equipped, that cooks were properly trained, and, most significantly, that food was purchased in sufficient quantity and quality for growing children. It was a decision that left thousands of Aboriginal children vulnerable to disease. The most serious gap in information arises from the incompleteness of the documentary record. Many records have simply been destroyed. According to a federal government policy, school returns could be destroyed after five years, and reports of accidents after ten years.
This led to the destruction of fifteen tonnes of waste paper. Between and , , Indian Affairs files were destroyed. Reports by doctors, dentists, and nurses were similarly assigned a two-year retention period. Often, the existing record lacks needed detail. For example, it was not uncommon for principals, in their annual reports, to state that a specific number of students had died in the previous year, but not to name them. There can be no certainty that all deaths were, in fact, reported to Indian Affairs—the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has located reports of student deaths in church records that are not reported in government documents.
The creation of this register marks the first effort in Canadian history to properly record the number of students who died in residential schools. The register is made of up three sub-registers:. A January statistical analysis of the Named Register for the period from to identified 2, deaths. The same analysis of a combination of the Named and Unnamed registers identified 3, reported deaths. The greatest number of these deaths 1, on the Named Register and 2, on the Named and Unnamed registers took place prior to Graph 3 shows the overall death rate per 1, students for the residential schools during this period figures are based on information in the combined Named and Unnamed registers. This graph suggests that the peak of the health crisis in the schools occurred in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
It also shows that the death rate remained high until the s. The death rates for Aboriginal children in the residential schools were far higher than those experienced by members of the general Canadian population. Graph 4 compares the death rate per 1, of the general population of Canadian children aged five to fourteen with the death rates per 1, of the Named Register and the Named and Unnamed registers combined. As can be seen, until the s Aboriginal children in residential schools died at a far higher rate than school-aged children in the general population. It is only in the s that the residential school death rates declined to a level comparable to that of the general school-aged population.
As late as the —45 period, the Named and Unnamed Combined residential school death rate was 4. In the s, even though the residential school death rates were much lower than their historic highs, they were still double those of the general school-aged population. From those cases where the cause of death was reported, it is clear that until the s, the schools were the sites of an ongoing tuberculosis crisis. The tuberculosis death rate remained high until the s: its decline coincides with the introduction of effective drug treatment.
The next most frequently recorded causes of death were influenza 9. Graph 5 shows the residential school tuberculosis death rate figures are based on information in the combined Named and Unnamed registers. The tuberculosis health crisis in the schools was part of a broader Aboriginal health crisis that was set in motion by colonial policies that separated Aboriginal people from their land, thereby disrupting their economies and their food supplies. This crisis was particularly intense on the Canadian Prairies. Numerous federal government policies contributed to the undermining of Aboriginal health.
During a period of starvation, rations were withheld from bands in an effort to force them to abandon the lands that they had initially selected for their reserves. In making the Treaties, the government had promised to provide assistance to First Nations to allow them to make a transition from hunting to farming. This aid was slow in coming and inadequate on arrival. Restrictions in the Indian Act made it difficult for First Nations farmers to sell their produce or borrow money to invest in technology. Reserve land was often agriculturally unproductive. Reserve housing was poor and crowded, sanitation was inadequate, and access to clean water was limited.
Under these conditions, tuberculosis flourished. Those people it did not kill were often severely weakened and likely to succumb to measles, smallpox, and other infectious diseases. For Aboriginal children, the relocation to residential schools was generally no healthier than their homes had been on the reserves. I need not mention any school in particular, but I have urged improvement in several cases in regard to fire-protection. But little was done to improve the poor living conditions that were identified at the beginning of the twentieth century.
In , R. Hoey, who had served as the Indian Affairs superintendent of Welfare and Training since , wrote a lengthy assessment of the condition of the existing residential schools. As a result, many of the existing residential school buildings were allowed to continue to deteriorate. Year after year, complaints, demands and requests for improvements have, in the main, fallen upon deaf ears.
When E. The badly built and poorly maintained schools constituted serious fire hazards. Defective firefighting equipment exacerbated the risk, and schools were fitted with inadequate and dangerous fire escapes. Lack of access to safe fire escapes led to high death tolls in fires at the Beauval and Cross Lake schools. There were at least additional recorded fires. At least forty students died in residential school fires.
To prevent this, many schools deliberately ignored government instructions in relation to fire drills and fire escapes. These were not problems only of the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries. Well into the twentieth century, recommendations for improvements went unheeded, and dangerous and forbidden practices were widespread and entrenched. In the interests of cost containment, the Canadian government placed the lives of students and staff at risk for years. The buildings were not only fire traps. They were also incubators of disease. Rather than helping combat the tuberculosis crisis in the broader Aboriginal community, the poor condition of the schools served to intensify it.
The annual report of Dr. He described a cycle of disease in which infants and children were infected at home and sent to residential schools, where they infected other children. He found the school staff and even physicians. He gave the principals a questionnaire to complete regarding the health condition of their former students. The extent of the health crisis was so severe that some people within the federal government and the Protestant churches became convinced that the only solution was to close the schools and replace them with day schools.
However, the Indian Affairs minister of the day, Frank Oliver, refused to enact the plan without the support of the churches involved. The plan foundered for lack of Roman Catholic support. During the same period, Bryce recommended that the federal government take over all the schools and turn them into sanatoria under his control. This plan was rejected because it was viewed as being too costly, and it was thought that it would have met with church opposition.
This contract increased the grants to the schools and imposed a set of standards for diet and ventilation. As noted earlier, although the contract led to improvements in the short term, inflation quickly eroded the benefit of the increase in grants. The situation was worsened by the cuts to the grants that were repeatedly imposed during the Great Depression of the s. The underfunding created by the cuts guaranteed that students would be poorly fed, clothed, and housed.
As a result, children were highly susceptible to tuberculosis. And, because the government was slow to put in place policies that would have prohibited the admission of children with tuberculosis, and ineffective in enforcing such policies once they were developed, healthy children became infected. As late as the s, at some schools, pre-admission medical examinations appear to have been perfunctory, ineffective, or non-existent. The schools often lacked adequate facilities for the treatment of sick children. In , Indian Affairs inspector T.
On an visit to the Battleford school, Indian Commissioner Hayter Reed concluded that the hospital ward was in such poor shape that they had been obliged to move the children in it to the staff sitting room. Even though the contract required all schools to have hospital accommodation to prevent the spread of infectious disease, many schools continued to be without a proper infirmary.Damiano Innu Tribe Research Paper committed himself to the research of the ancient musical Innu Tribe Research Paper heritage Innu Tribe Research Paper the Gender Inequality In A Thousand Splendid Suns Innu Tribe Research Paper Alexandar Sasha Karlic Innu Tribe Research Paper Moni Ovadia. Retrieved 13 May However, the Indian Affairs minister Innu Tribe Research Paper the day, Frank Oliver, refused Innu Tribe Research Paper enact the plan without the support of the churches involved.