Residential schools were established in Canada in the late 19th century to help Indigenous children integrate into the country’s mainstream society!
The residential school system in Canada was a dark chapter in Canadian history! These institutions were designed to assimilate Indigenous children, who were forcibly taken away from their families and communities and sent away to school – often hundreds of kilometers away. Unfortunately, many children attending these institutions suffered physical, psychological, and sexual abuse at the hands of those entrusted with their care. As a result many former students of residential schools are still dealing with the intergenerational trauma caused by these experiences today.
The last residential school in Canada to close was Gordon Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan, which opened in 1948, and closed in 1996. The school was initially built as a boarding school for First Nations children in the area, and was later converted into a residential school. The school was operated by the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College which was one of the first Indigenous-run residential schools in the country.
At its peak, Gordon Indian Residential School had over 270 students, who were between the ages of five, and sixteen 🏫 🇮🇳. The school operated on a six-day school week and was divided into two groups – Grade 1 to Grade 8 and Grade 9 to Grade 12. The school offered educational programs, as well as vocational training in practical skills such as carpentry, mechanics, and sewing. The students were also taught the history and culture of their people, as well as the English language.
Many of the students at Gordon Indian Residential School developed health issues as a result of the school’s inadequate food and medical care harsh discipline and inhumane treatment of the students.
In 1996, Gordon Indian Residential School was finally closed after decades of abuse and neglect. It was the last residential school in the country to be closed 🏫. The closure of the school marked an end to the residential school system in Canada, which had caused so much suffering, and intergenerational trauma to Indigenous peoples 🔚 🏫.
The legacy of Canada’s residential schools lives on, however 🏫. Survivors of the residential school experience are still dealing with the trauma they endured while attending the schools 🏫. As they continue to heal, they are speaking out about their experiences, and the government is slowly beginning to recognize the damage done by the residential school system.
In addition the government has taken steps to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians . The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established to examine the history and legacy of the residential schools, and the government has made important investments in Indigenous education and communities. These are important steps towards reconciliation and healing for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians.
The legacy of the residential school system in Canada is a painful one. We must never forget the suffering endured by the survivors, and we must continue to take steps towards reconciliation and healing. The last residential school in Canada to close is a reminder that while this dark chapter in our history has ended the effects of residential schools are still very much present in our society. . .
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