Residential School System

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The residential School System run by the Canadian Government from 1880-1996 has caused severe damage to the lives of hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal peoples. In an attempt to assimilate the so called 'savage and ignorant' native people, the government forcibly separated children from their families and communities and placed them in Residential Schools. These children were denied a proper education or were given no education at all. Students at these schools were subjected to emotional, psychological and physical abuse often resulting in permanent damage or even death. Through segregation, inferior education and abuse, Residential schools ruined the lives of thousands of Aboriginals in Canada. The lives of approximately 150, 000 Aboriginal…show more content…
The students of Residential schools endured abuse on a regular basis, " Abuse at the schools was widespread: emotional and psychological abuse was constant, physical abuse was meted out as punishment, and sexual abuse was also common" (Hanson 69). These abuses resulted in low self-esteem, subsequently leading to high incidents of self harm, alcoholism and substance abuse, " extremely low self-esteem...has manifested itself in self-abuse, resulting in high rates of alcoholism, substance abuse, and suicide" (Hanson 147). In some Aboriginal communities suicide rates are so high, they are referred to as epidemics. Suicide rates among Aboriginals is significantly higher than those of other Canadians, " Among First Nations people aged 10 to 44, suicide and self-inflicted injury is the number one cause of death, responsible for almost 40 percent of mortalities" (Hanson 148). Many of the survivors of The Residential School System having only experienced abuse and no nurturing, later abuse their own children and partners resulting in extremely high rates of domestic violence within Aboriginal communities. " According to the Manitoba Justice Institute, residential schools laid the foundation for the epidemic we see today of domestic abuse and violence against Aboriginal women and children" (Hanson 140). The emotional and psychological abuse suffered by students of Residential schools has resulted in serious damage to generations of Aboriginal communities, through "The ongoing cycle of intergenerational abuse in Aboriginal the legacy of...abuse in residential schools" (King
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