In recent years the Canadian public has heard much about the negative impact of the Indian Residential Schools on the aboriginal peoples of this land. While acknowledging that some students were harmed by the schools, this book shows that these institutions also had a positive side. It examines this other side through the records of both students and staff from (mainly) schools administered by the Anglican Church of Canada.
The Residential Schools have been described, in recent years, as a “tragic” part of Canadian history. This book contends that the greater tragedy has been the habitual neglect of the aboriginal peoples by the immigrant cultures of Canada, and that this neglect continues today as seen in such issues as wide-spread aboriginal poverty, disputes about the control of natural resources, and the slow pace of resolving land claims.
For all their faults and limitations, the Residential Schools are presented here as a sincere attempt to give the first peoples of our land a start at academic education. It is significant that education is recognized today by aboriginal people as the surest way to overcome the persistent problems they have faced for many years.