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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:07 am
 


Title: Ottawa forced to turn over reports of electric chair use at St. Anne's residential school in Fort Albany, Ontario | KNLive
Category: Religion
Posted By: Curtman
Date: 2014-01-20 04:04:54
Canadian





PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:07 am
 


$1:
They were forced to eat vomit, subjected to sexual and physical abuse and put in an electric chair.

�The little ones first,� recalls Edmund Metatawabin to the Wawatay News in July. �And I was, I think, about number seven or eight, meaning I was one of the smaller ones.�

The children sat on a wooden seat with their arms strapped to a metal chair. A Brother held a wooden box with a crank ready to send the electric charge.

�Your feet is flying around in front of you, and that was funny for the missionaries,� Metatawabin says. �So all you hear is that jolt of electricity and your reaction, and laughter (of the Catholic school administrators) at the same time. We all took turns sitting on it.�

An Ontario judge recently ruled the federal government must turn over the documents, meaning adjudicators in the future will have the documents when making decisions in compensation claims under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Act. Survivors will no longer have to prove the level of abuse in each case.

�They are very relieved the justice system has worked,� says Brunning about survivors she spoke to today. �They want to believe the apology meant something.�


R=UP





PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:59 pm
 


$1:
Exposing the dark legacy of residential schools
Over the past of couple weeks, the National Post letters page has devoted considerable space to debating the legacy of residential schools. The historical inaccuracies cited by many letter writers demonstrates why education on this topic is sorely needed in this country.

For the 4,000 children who died at these schools, and for many survivors, the residential school experience was sinister. Tuberculosis death rates at the schools dwarfed those in the rest of Canada: By 1907, 24% of residential school students had died of TB, a mortality rate more than 100 times the national average.

Systemic abuse and hardship were widespread. Informed by racist policies designed to destroy aboriginal languages and culture, the residential school system was administered by the government of Canada and run by four denominations of churches. By the time the last school closed in 1996, over 150,000 aboriginal children had been forcibly removed from their homes.

This Orwellian approach — the state’s attempt to brainwash children by forcing the dominant culture on them — devastated aboriginal communities in Canada. Young Canadians deserve to know this history, so that they can understand our country’s origins and consider their role in protecting human rights.

Canada’s record of assimilation policies and residential schools is rarely taught in classrooms. A recent national survey found that a third of Canadians are unfamiliar with these events.

There are three benefits to teaching our students about residential schools. First, students learn that democracy is fragile. Even in a society such as ours, people can be denied their basic human rights. Even at the heart of what we persuade ourselves is a just society, basic human rights can be denied as they were by residential schools. A healthy democracy, which respects human rights, is dependent on the responsible participation of citizens.

Second, teaching the harsh legacy of residential schools gives students the tools to deal with the challenges this country currently faces. These include inequalities in education, health services and child welfare, with less funding for aboriginal children on reserve compared to children off reserve. Finally, aboriginal students can be empowered through their learning: While the policies and actions of the state caused unnecessary suffering, pupils were resilient. If we want our youth to become active citizens, they deserve the chance to explore this difficult subject.

The departments of education in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Nunavut offer a model for teaching about residential schools. Since 2012, all territorial Grade 10 students study assimilation policies and residential schools. Students write a book review of survivor memoirs and novels, enabling them to empathize with the characters.

In another activity, students are exposed to historical accounts and asked to make a reasoned judgment relying on evidence. Students defend a position from many perspectives and there is no right answer. They debate the purpose and influence of the federal apology, and discuss former students who had both good and bad experiences at the schools.

Classrooms open to taking different perspectives help students develop the skills necessary to resolve conflicts. These skills, which are central to a healthy democracy, are more likely to be used by adults, if they are developed during adolescence. Engaging students on residential schools can transform how the protection of human rights is understood in Canada.

“Canada must acknowledge its past history of shameful treatment of aboriginal peoples,” said Inuk leader John Amagoalik. “It must acknowledge its racist legacy. It should not only acknowledge these facts, but also take steps to make sure that the country’s history books reflect these realities.”

By devoting 25 hours of mandatory class time for every high school student in the NWT and Nunavut to learning about residential schools, the territories have taken up Amagoalik’s challenge.

If George Orwell was correct that “those who control the past control the future,” we face a great risk if we do not educate Canadian youth about our brutal history. By failing to pass on the lessons we learned, we are opting out of crucial conversations about democracy and human rights in Canada.

Discussions of controversial issues in the classroom are not easy and take practice on the part of students and teachers. This is a necessary step in Canada’s work towards reconciliation between aboriginal peoples and everyone else who calls this land home. We should know our history, even if it isn’t pretty. Compassionate students who can think critically will make Canada better. If we hope to live in peace, we need to know the truth about ourselves.


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