Residential Schools, not genocide, just education policy, gone wrong...


CDNBear
#1
By Taryn Della
APTN National News
HALIFAX–
Residential school survivors expressed outrage Thursday over a statement made by Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan who said the Indian residential school system was not an act of “genocide,” but a case “of education policy gone wrong.”
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission was holding one of its national events in Halifax when news of the minister’s statement hit.
“Well it was a cultural genocide whether Canada wants to believe it or not, it happened,” said Georgina Doucette, an Eskasoni elder.
Duncan made the statement Thursday morning during an announcement Ottawa that the Conservative government would be commissioning a stained glass piece of artwork in honour of residential school survivors to be installed on Parliament Hill.
Recent academic research has shown that residential schools fit the UN definition of genocide.
A TRC official said he wasn’t surprised by Duncan’s statement.
“To hear that there’s an opinion by the federal government that is different from ours, it is not a surprise,” said Wendall Nicholas. “It’s a disappointment and I believe that it’s time that the government truly recognizes that there is an obligation that they understand that they live with and they carry just as we do.”
Residential school survivor Ronald Momogeeshick said he wondered whether the minister would have a different opinion if it was his children that were taken away from him.
“How about if I come over to your house, take your kids, sodomize them, shape their minds,” said Momogeeshick.
One residential school survivor, who did not want to give their name, said the minister should resign.
“If this man does not do his homework and look at the very meaning of genocide, he had better step down from his position and let someone who knows what genocide means in that position,” said the residential school survivor. “He is no help to us if that is his attitude and that’s his meaning of what was done to us.”


Residential school survivors outraged over Duncan’s residential school statement | APTN National News

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APTN National News
OTTAWA–
NDP leadership candidate and Quebec MP Romeo Saganash is calling on Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan to apologize for saying residential schools were not an act of genocide, but an “education policy gone wrong.”
Saganash, who went to residential school, said in an interview that if Duncan doesn’t apologize, the prime minister should ask him to resign.
“It’s a comment that requires an immediate apology and not only for those of us who survived the residential schools like me…but also for us who had family die there, those of us who has seen the damage it has struck at the core of our communities, our families, our culture, for several generations,” said Saganash, who is Cree. “I think the apology should be immediate and failing that I think the prime minister should ask the minister to resign.”
Duncan on Thursday made the statement during an announcement that his government would be installing a stained glass window on Parliament Hill in honour of the system’s survivors.
Duncan, however, said the system may have been “lethal” to Aboriginal culture if it had continued to exist.
“I don’t view it that way (as an act of cultural genocide), but it was certainly very negative to the retention of culture and if it had extended for another generation or two it might have been lethal, yes,” said Duncan.
The federal government, with the help of the RCMP, forcibly seized Aboriginal children away from their parents and put them into church-run residential schools where they were forbidden to speak their native languages and often faced physical and sexual abuse.
Some of the children died at the schools, mostly from sickness and disease, but also from beatings.
Many of these children’s bodies were buried in unmarked graves.
University of Manitoba professor Christopher Powell recently published a book arguing that Indian residential schools fit the definition of an act of genocide because the aim was to wipe out a culture.
“Canadians like to think we are a moral country, that we are good guys. A lot of Canadians recognize that the residential schools were painful, that there was abuse,” said Powell, in a recent interview with APTN National News. “But there isn’t still a widespread recognition that they were part of a systematic attempt to eliminate by force Aboriginal culture.”
In 1920, the deputy superintendent for the formerly named Indian Affairs department said the aim of residential schools was to “get rid of the Indian problem” in Canada forever.
“I want to get rid of the Indian problem,” said Scott. “Our objective is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic and there is no Indian question and no Indian department.”
Under Scott, it became mandatory for all children between seven and 15 to attend residential schools.
Duncan announced that the Conservative government would be commissioning a stain glass window designed by an Aboriginal artist for installation by the Parliament Hill entrance where MPs enter Centre Block. Centre Block home to the House of Commons chamber where MPs debate and pass the laws of the land.
“As we are all aware, the history of residential schools tells of an education policy gone wrong,” said Duncan. “Going forward our government will continue to work with all willing partners to strengthen education outcomes.”
Duncan said his department would be paying an expert panel to recommend an Aboriginal artist, or artists to create the window.
The price for the project, however, is still unknown, but it would be installed sometime next year, said Duncan.
“We don’t know the size of the expert panel yet, we don’t know what they are going to recommend,” said Duncan.
Duncan said the window was his idea after “a lot of conversations” he had with people in the “Aboriginal community” since Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s apology to residential school survivors on June 11, 2008.
The government also created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to travel the country and gather the stories of residential school survivors.
Part of the history of residential schools, however, may never be known.
Between 1954 and 1956, Indian Affairs set up “Document Destruction Teams” that pulped accident reports, inspector reports and principals’ diaries.
The teams also destroyed monthly and yearly reports by school and department officials in targeted purges, according to a 2006 study into missing residential school files.
Duncan said Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo and Mary Simon, president of Inuit organization Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, supported the stained glass project.
Duncan said that another panel created to study First Nations education would be issuing their report in December of January. He also that Prime Minister Stephen Harper would be meeting with First Nations leaders next year.


Saganash calls on Duncan to apologize over residential schools comment | APTN National News

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I agree with Duncan.
 
mentalfloss
#2
I knew you'd eventually get on board.

 
CDNBear
+2
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

I knew you'd eventually get on board.

Is there a legitimate point you're trying to make? Or are you still inebriated?
 
taxslave
Free Thinker
+2
#4
I've known John Duncan for at least 20 years and while we don't always agree on things I have to agree with him on this one. The intent and the outcome of government initiatives are quite often very different. What gets missed in this is the fact that there were also white kids subjected to the residential schools athough mostly with their parents consent since they lived in remote areas and thought that their kids deserved an education. The intent of the residential schools was basically a good one but poorly carried out and should never have been left to the churches to administer. Had the government of the day been intent on genocide there would be no land claims today since there would be no one left to make a claim.
It is not the fault of todays government that the residential schools came about anyway since most of todays politicians were either not even born or were babies when it came about so how do you apologize for something that you had no influence over?
 
CDNBear
+4
#5  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

It is not the fault of todays government that the residential schools came about anyway since most of todays politicians were either not even born or were babies when it came about so how do you apologize for something that you had no influence over?

The symbolic nature can go a long way. But apologies oft lead to law suits.

In this case, money doesn't change history, nor does it heal mental wounds.

Duncan's opinion is his.

And as abhorrent as residential Schools were. Healing will only begin, when people stop using them as a crutch.

Not when people are forced to change their opinion, to suit/sooth a collective outcry.
 
TenPenny
+3
#6
It's like growing up in a disfunctional family; at some point, you have to pick up your panties and get on with life.
 
Goober
Free Thinker
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

It's like growing up in a disfunctional family; at some point, you have to pick up your panties and get on with life.

Mark my words down. I have felt for years that there will be an increase in Native - Govt violence - as along the lines of an Oka scenario. It has been building for years if not decades. Check out how many confrontations between Govt - First nations over the last 15 -20 years - Not all of what happens is reported in the MSM.

It is only a matter of time.
 
Mowich
Conservative
+1
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

The symbolic nature can go a long way. But apologies oft lead to law suits.

In this case, money doesn't change history, nor does it heal mental wounds.

Duncan's opinion is his.

And as abhorrent as residential Schools were. Healing will only begin, when people stop using them as a crutch.

Not when people are forced to change their opinion, to suit/sooth a collective outcry.

I attended what was called a Truth Commission held here on the reserve several years ago. It was truly heart-breaking listening to the stories told by people affected by the residential schools, Bear. However, as taxslave - I believe it was - pointed out, natives were not the only ones affected by education policies back in the early stages of our country. While I feel sympathy for those affected, I do think it is past time that this issue take a back seat to the necessity of getting a grip of the problems that face native peoples, today.
 
Bar Sinister
No Party Affiliation
+1
#9
An apology by a member of government for the acts committed by a previous government is not an apology in the normal sense of the word. The current government is not admitting to having done anything wrong; what it is doing through the act of apology is admitting that a wrong was committed and that wrong is now officially recognized.

In any case genocide is the wrong word. Residential schools were not agents of genocide they were agents of assimilation. The goal of the schools was to strip the students in the schools of their native languages and customs and create "Indians who were Indian in name only and who would then become submerged in the mainstream culture.

Ironically assimilation is proceeding today without any help from residential schools due to the simple fact that more and more Aboriginal Canadians are moving into urban areas. Once there they find it much more difficult to maintain their language and culture. With about half of all Aboriginal Canadians now living in cities it is only a matter of time before they eventually become part of mainstream culture.
 
Cliffy
Free Thinker
+2
#10
Although I agree that it is time to get beyond using the residential schools as a crutch, there is one large problem that is being overlooked, that of the widespread cases of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It may take 1 or 2 more generations to get beyond that. I had a friend who worked with FAS kids in Quesnel and she said it was very widespread in that community, affecting well over 50% of the kids. Those cases were a direct and indirect result of the residential schools and how those kids parents were treated. I think alcohol abuse is starting to turn around, but the generations that were affected may take a while to heal (if that is possible). I'm thinking that possibly FAS may be contributing to the staggering rate of teen suicide among aboriginal communities. I find it really difficult to think that saying "buck it up buttercup" to an FAS kid is going to make them "snap out of it."
 
damngrumpy
No Party Affiliation
#11
Good Grief, now the argument is some white kids were subjected to the residential schools.
This jumped out at me through discussion, but the fact remains that the vast majority of kids
were from the reserves and the plan was to make them all good little white kids without their
former culture, and their own belief system. The intent was to force the melting pot system
and rub out the long standing rich culture of the native peoples of this country.
What got in the way? Personal lust and the vision of total control. Once these kids were in
fact isolated the clergy and others in charge realized if they were given total control there
would be no consequences and the abuse started and continued for years. Nothing can
overshadow this, nothing. Yes there were abuses of others, in fact white children, the church
officials used them for the gratification and their personal lust. They did not try to convert the
white kids by destroying their culture, as with the native kids.
Damn it makes my blood boil when the government or members of it try to skirt the real issue
by broadening the base of the abuse. All abuse is disgusting, regardless of what children
were abused. The fact is however they were trying to destroy the future of a people by not
only raping them sexually but by raping them culturally and this is simply not tolerable.
In addition I find it hard to believe there can be a reconciliation commission while attitudes
like this are front and center.
This whole thing is so disgusting and shameful as a part of our history, its not the only sad and
evil chapter in our history, and this is why we must ensure these things come to light get discussed
in their reality and honesty and only then can we move on. It happened, we have to understand
the ramifications of what happened and pledge to do a better job to ensure it doesn't happen to
any other group again.
I cannot understand how the churches of this country, and there is more than the Catholic Church
involved, can hold their heads up in public. It didn't stop with the native kids it continued and in
some cases may still be happening and the church pretends its time to turn the page. Well the
page can't be turned until the clergy of the churches change their ways and clean up their act.
And we as a people cannot move to another place in our history until we deal with what was done
and ending the denial and making excuses will not lend itself to doing that.
 
CDNBear
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

It's like growing up in a disfunctional family; at some point, you have to pick up your panties and get on with life.

Although my Grandfather wore boxers, that's why he managed to go on with life, be productive, and raise a healthy family.

Quote: Originally Posted by Goober View Post

Mark my words down. I have felt for years that there will be an increase in Native - Govt violence - as along the lines of an Oka scenario. It has been building for years if not decades. Check out how many confrontations between Govt - First nations over the last 15 -20 years - Not all of what happens is reported in the MSM.

It is only a matter of time.

That's based on frustration.

Between the Feds and Provinces dragging their feet on legitimate land claims, and grievances, people like Cannuck and dumpster, spreading shear lies and misinformation.

If clear voices of peace are absent, what you predict, may very well come to fruition.

Violence is not the answer.

Quote: Originally Posted by Mowich View Post

... I do think it is past time that this issue take a back seat to the necessity of getting a grip of the problems that face native peoples, today.

I agree.

Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpy View Post

In addition I find it hard to believe there can be a reconciliation commission while attitudes
like this are front and center.

It's not an attitude, it's an opinion. And he's as free to have his, as you are to have yours.

Quote:

This whole thing is so disgusting and shameful as a part of our history, its not the only sad and
evil chapter in our history, and this is why we must ensure these things come to light get discussed
in their reality and honesty and only then can we move on. It happened, we have to understand
the ramifications of what happened and pledge to do a better job to ensure it doesn't happen to
any other group again.

How do you balance that with your belief that the people of the US, should just get over 9/11?
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+2
#13
Hmmm. I do tend to think that 'education policy gone wrong' is a little light for an explanation or description of this history. However, I have a hard time seeing where defining it as genocide would be all that helpful either. They both seem like extremes to me and the reality, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

In my personal opinion, I think the focus must be on healing processes. The official apology from the government was a symbolic gesture of that, I think. Also the gathering of stories from survivors is hugely beneficial as well, as it serves not only to help those who suffered the abuse to unburden some of the pain but also to make the awareness of the magnitude of the pain and suffering available to the nation as a whole.
 
Vaessen
#14
Keep crying wolf and overstating hardships from people in the past and see how far it gets you with today's society. Move on. They were screwed over, as were many others. It's dangerous because look what happened tothe Jews, the ultimate case of getting screwed over and then using it as a crutch when they screw everybody else for the next 70 years.

The healing crap is just that, crap. You don't get over things in life, you get through them, ask anybody that has been abused or lost a loved one. There's no such thing as "healing". Move on. Don't forget it, don't deny it, but move on.
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by Vaessen View Post

Keep crying wolf and overstating hardships from people in the past and see how far it gets you with today's society. Move on. They were screwed over, as were many others. It's dangerous because look what happened tothe Jews, the ultimate case of getting screwed over and then using it as a crutch when they screw everybody else for the next 70 years.

The healing crap is just that, crap. You don't get over things in life, you get through them, ask anybody that has been abused or lost a loved one. There's no such thing as "healing". Move on. Don't forget it, don't deny it, but move on.

Must be a record - No more than 6 posts to show you hate Jews.
 
Vaessen
+2
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Goober View Post

Must be a record - No more than 6 posts to show you hate Jews.

I don't hate Jews. I respect them. they survived and thrived actually, being dealt a bad hand. They really played a major role in getting different cultures trading and therefore, are responsible for much of the Global expansion and subsequent industrialization of the modern world. I have nothing against Jews.

My comment was simple. They were shafted by the Nazis and by much of europe, after their thriving in society and becoming financially elite. They have reasons for why they operate their nation state the way they have. it doens't ake everything Isreal has done right though, on the contrary, they have a terrible record as a nation for cruelty, violence and occupation. to deny that is to be a liar. the problem with it is every time somebody tries to suggest that Israel has an awful history with anything or that what they are currently doing is wrong, morally, they are bombarded with crap about being antisemites, much like anybody that says anything about natives in Canada is bombarded with crap about being racist. It's a legit example.
 
gerryh
+2
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Although my Grandfather wore boxers, that's why he managed to go on with life, be productive, and raise a healthy family.

As evidenced by you and yours.

Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

That's based on frustration.

Between the Feds and Provinces dragging their feet on legitimate land claims, and grievances, people like Cannuck and dumpster, spreading shear lies and misinformation.

If clear voices of peace are absent, what you predict, may very well come to fruition.

Violence is not the answer.

I have highlighted the most pertinent part of your reply to Goober. This apply's to pretty much everything else out there. But, as you have said, in the absence of clear voices of peace it is, for the most part, ignored.

Quote: Originally Posted by Vaessen View Post

The healing crap is just that, crap. You don't get over things in life, you get through them, ask anybody that has been abused or lost a loved one. There's no such thing as "healing". Move on. Don't forget it, don't deny it, but move on.


What you are talking about here IS a part of "healing". The thing missing is the need for the aggrieved party to forgive. Moving on is very difficult if resentment and hatred is still bottled up and forgiveness has not been handed out. Not only forgiveness to the perpetrators, but also forgiving oneself and recognizing that it was not their fault.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
+3
#18
If you can recognize it was not your fault without seeking someone to blame, then you're almost there
 
CDNBear
+1
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Vaessen View Post

The healing crap is just that, crap. You don't get over things in life, you get through them, ask anybody that has been abused or lost a loved one. There's no such thing as "healing". Move on. Don't forget it, don't deny it, but move on.

Although I somewhat agree, and have a sense of what you are saying, abuses leave scars. Healing is part of getting over it.

Looking for someone to blame all the ills that go along with it. Simply prevents any manner of healing or forward movement.

Quote: Originally Posted by Vaessen View Post

My comment was simple. They were shafted by the Nazis and by much of europe, after their thriving in society and becoming financially elite. They have reasons for why they operate their nation state the way they have. it doens't ake everything Isreal has done right though, on the contrary, they have a terrible record as a nation for cruelty, violence and occupation. to deny that is to be a liar. the problem with it is every time somebody tries to suggest that Israel has an awful history with anything or that what they are currently doing is wrong, morally, they are bombarded with crap about being antisemites, much like anybody that says anything about natives in Canada is bombarded with crap about being racist. It's a legit example.

I agree, your example was legit.

And it is true, the racist label is applied far to loosely and often.

There is a far cry between legitimate criticism, and looking for a better way, and being a true racist.

Which is why I take great steps to avoid using/misusing it. I've yet to use it more than I can count on one hand, for that very reason.

Quote: Originally Posted by gerryh View Post

As evidenced by you and yours.

Thanx bud.

Quote:

I have highlighted the most pertinent part of your reply to Goober. This apply's to pretty much everything else out there. But, as you have said, in the absence of clear voices of peace it is, for the most part, ignored.

Every act of violence, only sets us back a hundred years. Groups like the MWS are part of the problem, not the solution.

Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

If you can recognize it was not your fault without seeking someone to blame, then you're almost there

How true.
 
The Old Medic
Conservative
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

I've known John Duncan for at least 20 years and while we don't always agree on things I have to agree with him on this one. The intent and the outcome of government initiatives are quite often very different. What gets missed in this is the fact that there were also white kids subjected to the residential schools athough mostly with their parents consent since they lived in remote areas and thought that their kids deserved an education. The intent of the residential schools was basically a good one but poorly carried out and should never have been left to the churches to administer. Had the government of the day been intent on genocide there would be no land claims today since there would be no one left to make a claim.
It is not the fault of todays government that the residential schools came about anyway since most of todays politicians were either not even born or were babies when it came about so how do you apologize for something that you had no influence over?

The policy was to eliminate ALL Native cultures, and replace them with a British Culture. Anyone that says anything different is a liar, or completely ignorant of what actually was happening.

I would strongly suggest that anyone that does NOT believe that this was the policy of the Government read the "White Paper" prepared by Pierre Elliot Trudeau before he became the Prime Minister. It clearly outlines the various strategies of the Government, from 1870 onward, to eliminate all Native cultures completely.

By ANY standard, other than that of an apologist, the goal was the complete cultural genocide of all of the native peoples of Canada.