Topic: Residential School System
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History of European conquest of the America is filled with injustice, pain, deprivation, theft and murder. Although not all countries treated their indigenous populations the same, the fact remains that what little indigenous peoples are left today had to endure centuries of manipulation and oppression. The system of Residential schools was one form of manipulation that sought to civilize and “westernize” the children of natives. The main goal was to prevent new generations from living their traditional lives secluded from civilization and bring them in urban areas as potential settlers and workers. Project of residential schools was one of the worst examples of exploitation and cultural annihilation in newer history as it sought to eradicate the essence of a people’s culture, not by sword, but by the cross and the pen. Although this may seem like an admirable goal, this essay will show just how dire the consequences were and how the system systematically destroyed the indigenous culture. The white world would not accept the children as equal citizens whereas their tribes did not perceive them as Indians any longer. This left them in between worlds, left on their own to live and work as they could. Many of the children who went to such schools committed suicide, turned to alcohol or other vices because of the way they were treated.