The Canadian Genocide
Canada is a country that prides itself on being accepting of other cultures, peoples and religions. The Multiculturalism Act that passed in 1971 affirmed the fundamental belief that all citizens are equal. That all citizens can keep their identities, take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of belonging (Canada Multiculturalism: An Inclusive Citizenship, 2012). However, this was not always the case. As a newly budding country, Canada went through a series of growing pains. Dark times in history where, instead of accepting its citizens as they were, Canada chose to forcefully assimilate those who did not fit the model life lay out by the European settler's. The Aboriginal, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada were the unfortunate targets of such forced assimilation. For over one hundred years, residential schools (the preferred method of assimilation) thrived in Canada. In fact, the last one did not close until 1996, a full 25 years after the Multiculturalism Act was passed.
Perhaps 'growing pains' is not the best description for the monstrous acts committed in those schools. A more appropriate term is genocide, being "the criminal intent to destroy or cripple permanently a human group" (Neu & Therrien, 2003). Canada attempted to commit genocide against the Aboriginal peoples through methods of killing, causing bodily or mental harm, inflicting conditions of life meant to bring about physical destruction, imposing measures to prevent births, and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. For the purpose of this paper concerning residential schools, focus will be centred primarily on killing and physical and emotion abuse.
It is important to know of the historical background and development of Indian residential schools to understand the pain and suffering the Aboriginal children endured. During the times of European colonization, the measures taken to assimilate the Aboriginal peoples...