The proposition of residential schools were outlined to separate First Nations children from their families so that they can be assimilated from believing in their religion. This was created through the Indian Act in 1876. The Indian Act and residential schools were created to “kill the Indian in the child.” This relates to the idea of social justice since it was unfair for all First Nations children that were forced to attend these schools for being who they are. The imposition of residential schools on First Nations children represents a low point in Canadian history, because they faced separation from their families, it distanced many First Nations people from their traditional belief systems, and they have lived under very poor conditions. Even though nowadays, there are no residential schools in Canada, due to Aboriginal rights and laws that were passed, this topic is important to be discussed as it was a huge setback in Canadian history since many have faced racism and prejudice.
The concept of the children being separated from their families was devastating for both the children and their loved ones. Firstly, First Nations children were forced to be taken away from their families to attend these schools. Children from the ages of seven to fifteen were taken away from their homes and were obliged to live in dormitories far away from their communities. Since the goal was to “kill the Indian in the child,” most of them died themselves due to being affected by leaving their loved ones. Many suffered tuberculosis, and it has said that almost “6,000 of the 150,000 who attended the schools between the 1870s and 1996 died or disappeared” (Indigenous Corporate Training Inc, The Indian Act). Not surprisingly, most escaped in droves that it came to a point where the government passed a law stating that the parents of the children have no authority over the child once they’re put in residential school. It was extremely unjust to those being born into an Indigenous family, because everyone deserves the right to practice their own culture and customs. Not only were children affected by leaving their loved ones, but we must consider how their parents might have felt when their children were taken away from them. Parents who were forced to send their children had to deal with the devastating effects of separation, and the total lack of care and welfare of their children. Shirly Leon, a parent that has experienced sending her kids to residential schools has reported, “Seeing the cattle trucks come onto the reserve and scoop up the kids, and seeing my kids cry was devastating” (Now Staff, Survivors of residential schools). This has shown how depressing it can be for both the children and their loved ones for being separated from each other.
The residential school system has brought many First Nations to isolate from their traditional beliefs. When the children arrived at these schools, they were given new names to change their gi...