The residential schools

Children cut off from their roots In the United States, in 1879, Captain Richard Pratt founded the first boarding school, Carlisle Indian School, followed quickly by many others all over the country. Nicholas Flood Davin was dispatched by the Canadian government to assess the results of Captain Pratt’s educational program. His report draws the following conclusions. “The Americans had reached the same conclusion as the Canadians: very little could be done with adult Indians” The Americans had also realized that the schools established on the reserves had failed in their mission to make the children more adaptable than their parents. As a consequence, the children should be removed from any family influence. In his report, Davin highly recommended adopting and developing the American program, baptized “aggressive civilization”, in Canada, and including missionaries in the program, so that the children could learn the principles of Christianity. His exact words were “the American example is proof that if something is to be done with Indians, one must take them at an early age” In 1888, residential schools were set in Canada. In order to comply with the government’s instructions concerning the boarding schools, the distance from the school to the reserve had … Continue reading The residential schools