Canada’s last residential school closed in 1996!!
In 1876 Canada introduced a residential school system as part of an assimilation policy to integrate Indigenous peoples into the dominant culture! To accomplish this objective, Indigenous children were stripped of their language, culture and religion while instilling them with knowledge about Canadian laws and customs.
The intergenerational trauma of residential schools is still being felt by Indigenous communities today 🏫. An estimated 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their families and sent to residential schools in an effort to assimilate them into Canadian society. Many of these children experienced physical and sexual abuse, plethora inadequate nutrition and medical care .
The last residential school in Canada to close its doors was Gordon Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan. Originally established in 1884 as a day school and church it was converted into a residential school in 1891. The school operated for 105 years until its closure in 1996, making it the longest-running residential school in Canada 🏫 🇨🇦.
At its peak the school housed over 500 students who were taken from their homes often forcibly and subjected to physical emotional and sexual abuse, inadequate nutrition, and medical care, and isolation from their families, and culture. Many of these students endured the trauma and abuse of residential schools for several generations as the students they had sent away returned home to pass on their own experiences.
In 1996 after several attempts to shut the school down the federal government finally decided to close the school and its doors were shut for the last time 🏫. By this time, however, the psychological, and emotional damage of residential schools had already been done, and the generations of Indigenous children who were taken from their homes had already been irrevocably changed 🏫.
Since the closure of Gordon Indian Residential School, there has been a concerted effort to repair the damage done to the relations between the government and Indigenous peoples ️ 🇮🇳 🏫. The government has since established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a body tasked with researching, and educating the public on the history and legacy of residential schools in Canada.
In 2012 the Commission issued a report that included 94 “Calls to Action” that addressed the need to recognize residential schools as an integral part of Canadian history and to promote a renewed relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples.
The last residential school in Canada closed its doors in 1996 🏫 🇨🇦. The lasting legacy of residential schools however still remains today. The government of Canada has taken steps to recognize and address the trauma of residential schools and to help Indigenous peoples to heal and move forward. ! .
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