Summary: The Negative Effects Of Residential Schools

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The Negative Effects of Residential Schools on Canada’s First Nations: A Psychosocial Perspective Residential schools in Canada were educational institutions established by the Federal Government to keep First Nations children from continuing in their native traditions and assimilate them into “civilized” European-Canadian culture (Elias et al., 2012, p. 1561). Children began to attend residential schools in the early 19th century, after which several other schools opened across Canada with the last residential school closing in 1996 (Elias et al., 2012, p. 1561). The Government believed that these institutions would help to rescue the Native community from their savage “Indianness” which required the severing of students’ connections to their…show more content…
Canada’s First Nations were considered to be uncivilized by Whites that believed they were inherently superior to “Indians” (Bombay, Matheson, & Anisman, 2014, p. 322). The government viewed residential schools as a tool to rid Canada of its “Indian problem” and so, the schools taught First Nations children to be ashamed of their cultural heritage, languages, and traditions (Bombay, Matheson, & Anisman, 2014, p. 322). Several children who attended residential schools experienced a loss of culture, language, and traditional values which stripped them of their own identities and ultimately perpetuated an intergenerational cycle of destruction for Canada’s First Nations both socially and psychologically. (Elias et al., 2012, p.…show more content…
Many former students waited several years before they disclosed the neglect and abuse they suffered while attending the residential schools (Blackburn, 2012, p. 291). The final report released by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1996 brought national attention to the several forms of abuse that existed in residential schools (Blackburn, 2012, p. 291). The report described the institutions as poorly managed, underfunded, and unsafe with several cases of malnourishment and inadequate health care (Blackburn, 2012, p. 291). The report by the Royal Commission also confirmed what had been speculated by the public, which is that several children suffered emotional, physical, psychological, and sexual abuse while attending the schools (Blackburn, 2012, p.

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