The Children

Young attendees at Indian Residential Schools were deprived of the learning experiences and teachings that were normally led by parents and elders in the safety, security and loving environment of clan life.

As those knowledgeable in the area of the Indian Residential School system are aware, the majority of Indigenous children who attended Indian Residential Schools were forced to attend such schools against the wishes of their parents or their communities.

The following is a quote from an article on the website 1000 Conversations:

“Residential School Experience

Many Aboriginal children were taken from their homes, often forcibly removed and separated from their families by long distances. Others who attended residential schools near their communities were often prohibited from seeing their families outside of occasional permitted visits.

Students were forbidden to speak their language or practice their culture, and were often punished for doing so.

Many students were forced to do manual labour, and were fed poor quality food. There are many accounts of students being provided moldy, maggot-infested and rotten foods.

Other experiences reported from Survivors of residential schools include sexual and mental abuse, beatings and severe punishments, overcrowding, illness, children forced to sleep outside in the winter, the forced wearing of soiled underwear on the head or wet bed sheets on the body, use of students in medical experiments, disease and in some cases death.

Many students received a sub-standard education. As late as 1950, according to a study by the Department of Indian Affairs, over 40 per cent of the teaching staff had no professional training.

Some students have spoken of the positive experiences of residential schools, and of receiving an adequate education. However, overall it was a negative experience as indicated by various statements of apology issued by the churches and federal government.”

Read the entire article here: Brief History of Residential Schools‎