Friday, November 18, 2011

More 'Lost children' - missionaries abducting children in Canada (as in Australia)

18th nov 2011 CE

a major part of 'inculturation': "kill the Indian [sic] in the child"

this is being done in india too. do not send your children to missionary schools.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Radha Rajan
Date: Sat, Nov 19, 2011 at 6:52 AM
Subject: More 'Lost children' - this time Canada

More Canadians need to know about our "dark chapter" of residential schools

By Charlotte Kingston
Sheldon Chumir Foundation
Troy Media
Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Calgary, AB, June 8, 2011 (Troy Media) - June 11 marks the third anniversary of the Government of Canada's apology to survivors of Indian Residential Schools. On this day, the federal government recognized that "the legacy of Indian Residential Schools has contributed to social problems that continue to exist in many communities today."

The anniversary should remind non-aboriginal Canadians of how far we have come in our relationship with first peoples, and of how very far we have left to go. But that will require that many more non-aboriginal Canadians become aware of the history and consequences of this period in our history. This lack of awareness must be rectified if the apology is to lead to meaningful change, rather than becoming a historical footnote.

History of residential schools

From 1831 to 1996, more than 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children were taken from their communities and sent to one of the 130 federally-funded boarding schools administered by Catholic, United and Anglican Church authorities. For decades there was no choice: if families did not hand over their children, they were forcibly seized. The "aggressive assimilation" policies pursued by the government and the schools sought to stamp out aboriginal language, culture and spiritual beliefs in order to "kill the Indian in the child," as Duncan Campbell Scott, Head of Indian Affairs, wrote in 1920.

The record of death and abuse in these schools is well documented. As early as 1909 Dr. Peter Bryce reported that mortality rates at residential schools in Western Canada ranged from 30 to 60 per cent. Over time, more than 12,000 individual allegations of physical and sexual abuse were brought to Canada's courts.

Survivors of Canada's residential school system do not speak of injury only to themselves. They tell of the effect their turning to drugs and alcohol to deal with those injuries has had on their own children and families. They talk about the loss of language, cultural traditions and the spirituality that was once the life blood of their communities. They know too well the consequences for children of being born to a generation of parents without any experience of being parented themselves. In these ways, the "dark chapter" of Indian Residential Schools lives on today.

Ignorance of history obscures present

Yet less than one third of Canadians are familiar with the history of Indian Residential Schools, according to national surveys by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

This lack of knowledge is dangerous because history and historical myths shape contemporary actions and attitudes. Though most non-aboriginal Canadians are blind to the legacy of residential schooling, assumptions continue to be made about the causes and prescriptions for the ongoing vulnerability and marginalization of first peoples. Yet, where we misdiagnose the problem, we are likely to incorrectly treat the symptoms.

Many people continue to argue that no good can come from opening old wounds or that we are not responsible for the sins of the past. This is wrong, because where it is evident that the past continues to affect the present we have an ethical imperative to know the truth and to act appropriately on it.

Tackling the darkest chapters of our history is a demanding task. We cannot deny or shy away from a time when systemic racism and discrimination were the norm. For Canadians, the history of Indian Residential Schools must be recalled so that we can deal with its effects.

First truth, then reconciliation

Through the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), the government of Canada has created an opportunity for Canadians to better understand our history. Unfortunately, the biggest problem the TRC faces is bringing non-aboriginal Canadians into the conversation. "Our audience is not survivors. It is all Canadians. The rest of Canada cannot think this is just about survivors telling their truth, having a measure of catharsis, and that's it. It's about healing Canada's amnesia . . .," explains Commissioner Marie Wilson. The ethical imperative rests not only with government but with each individual.. All Canadians must engage this difficult past if we hope for a healthier and more cohesive future. There can be no reconciliation without remembrance.

Let the June 11 anniversary of the apology to Residential School survivors be a reminder to all Canadians of the need to learn more about this dark chapter of our history and to reflect on what it means for our collective present and our future.

Charlotte Kingston is an intern with the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership.

Related posts:

It's time to focus on Aboriginal healing

Let's get over the collective apology thing; it's not all that helpful

Aboriginal Canadians should have rights to their land

Native Canadians denied true democracy

Canadians should ignore Europe's misgivings about multiculturalism

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