Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Canada's residential schools: A Sad lesson in Church-State-Nationalism

A sad chapter of social injustice in Canada’s history, one our U.S. Christian nationalists are promoting, was brought to my attention by this article in the CBC:

Students who endured abuse and torment in Canada's residential schools will finally get a formal apology from the Canadian government on Wednesday, a prospect that has many feeling a mix of emotions.

Overseen by the Department of Indian Affairs, residential schools aimed to force aboriginal children to learn English and adopt Christianity and Canadian customs as part of a government policy called "aggressive assimilation." In all, about 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their communities and forced to attend the schools, where many of them lived in substandard conditions and endured physical, emotional and sexual abuse.There were about 130 such schools in Canada, with some in every territory and province except Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, from as early as the 19th century to 1996.

Anything strike you as familiar? “Schools..force children to learn English (English only?) and adopt Christianity (vouchers for religious schools & U.S. is Christian nation)…and Canadian (U.S.?) customs.”

Perhaps we can learn from this tragic lesson in Canadian history.

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