Residential School Abuse In Canada

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In the 19th century, the Canadian government felt they had the responsibility of educating and guiding all aboriginal individuals into abandoning their traditional beliefs and values (Partridge, 2010). The Canadian government and European settlers viewed the aboriginal culture, beliefs and values as inferior. In Canada, residential schools were established in the 1880s resulting in over 140 schools, funded by the federal government and operated by the churches (CBC News, 2008). At its height around 1930, the residential school system totaled 80 institutions. The Roman Catholic Church operated three-fifths, the Anglican Church one-quarter and the United and Presbyterian Churches the remainder (Miller, 2012). According to the Indian Act of 1920,…show more content…
As a Child and Youth Worker it is our job to consider the impact the abuse had/has on children and youth. To better understand this, the Child and Youth Worker should understand the general impact of the abuse, some of the short and long term effects, cultural and spiritual effects as well as social effects. It is important to know that "The experience of abuse does not end when the actual abuse stops; the effects of abuse in childhood can continue into adulthood” (Surviving the Past, 2012). The impact of the abuse can depend on a variety of factors. It can depend on how long and how often the abuse occurred, the type of abuse, the age of the victim when the abuse occurred, the relationship of the abuser to the victim, and the reaction to the incident once it was reported (Surviving the Past, 2012). Some general physical and emotional symptoms resulting from institutional abuse could be; nightmares, anxiety, eating disorders, sexual disorders, developmental disabilities, depression, low self-esteem or self-image, flashbacks of childhood abuse triggered in adult life and many more (Surviving the Past, 2012). When taking a look into the short-term impact of the abuse on the children, it appears as though some suffered from physical symptoms of abuse such as cuts and bruises, broken bones, brain damage, and language impairment. Others had difficulties with learning, and from all of this many developed low self-esteem, depression, aggressive behaviour, and psychological problems (Surviving the Past, 2012). Long term effects can include violent behaviour, including abuse of one's own children in later years, increased aggressive behaviour, higher rates of substance abuse and a greater likelihood of criminal behaviour (Surviving the Past, 2012). Some of the effects experienced short term can carry into long term as well. Trauma related symptoms could be experienced as

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