|Native Residential School - Kill the Indian in the child!|
Decades later, the practice was still in place and, in 2015, there are still people who remember their mothers crying as they were taken away, being beaten for speaking in their native language, being forced to cut their hair, and being given new, Americanized names.
There were around 100 boarding schools operating in the United States, and even into the 1960s, teachers there were told that their first responsibility wasn’t to educate students but to “civilize” them. The goal of the boarding schools was to take away everything that gave the students their identity.
Schedules were so strict that in some cases, they were planned out in increments of five minutes, time that was precisely used for things like making beds and brushing teeth. From hairstyles and clothing to learning a new religion, they were taught everything they needed to know to not be Native American anymore.
Ironically, among those that have spoken out about their experiences in boarding schools, where they were discouraged from embracing their native culture, are the Navajo Code Talkers, whose language was of unprecedented importance throughout World War II—quite a difference from their experiences in school.
There are still a handful of these boarding schools in existence, but now, they have a different mission: to educate and to preserve culture. For those that still remember being torn from their families and forced to become something they absolutely weren’t, though, there’s still a lot that needs to be mended.
I am quite sure that this report by Debra Kelly, Listverse, just scratches the surface. If there is any significant differences between the American and Canadian residential schools, I would like to know what it is.
Canadian schools were rife with physical and sexual abuse along with the horrid psycho-social abuse of killing the Indian in the child. Generational sins means sexual abuse is still a problem for some children, grandchildren and probably great grandchildren of residential school survivors.