Residential schools in Canada, the lost generations.

Hello, I haven’t posted a diary here before. I signed up….I think it was on the Grand opening day.

I blog at a site called A Creative Revolution and We are trying to get some media attention on this topic. So I thought I would post here to catch any Canucks. Any help and support from our American freinds is always very much appreciated too.

The Facebook group Mass Graves of Residential School Children Identified- Where is the media?

Started two Fridays ago, has now grown to almost 2000 members. The purpose of this group is pretty self explanatory. With the release of a list of suspected mass graves, we are wondering why this hasn’t made a bigger dent in the traditional media coverage.

There has been a lot of time spent slandering Kevin Annett, a lot of that has been coming from certain religious organizations, with a definite vested interest wouldn’t you say?

But here is the larger more important question? Is there enough evidence to investigate and place this under public scrutiny?

We believe there is.

Some have said that this is not possible, but we do know from many stories told by former residential school victims, that the possibility is very strong. From the site Where are the Children?

Remembering the Children who never returned home.

Controversy has been a part of the residential school system since the early 20th century because of the number of Aboriginal children who died while attending the schools. “Throughout the industrial school era, children in the schools had been dying in unbelievable numbers. In that conjunction of the condition of the schools and the health of the children lay, as Dr. P.H. Bryce termed it in 1922, the ‘national crime.’ The main consequence of inadequate government funding, poorly constructed schools, sanitary and ventilation problems, inadequate diet, clothing and medical care was an epidemic of tuberculosis for Indian Schools.” (A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879 to 1986, p. 75)

The Residential schools were intended to “assimilate” the First Nations in Canada into white society. The Government scooped in and took the children by force, shipped them to schools often hundreds of miles away from their families. They were there for 10 months of the year. The schools were run by religious orders. Many stories of abuse have been documented. It has been correctly labelled as Cultural genocide. Left without a past, forced to speak english, and punished if caught speaking their own. Many stories and photos are found at this site. Turtle

From one of the links on that page, a court affadavit:

I wasn’t allowed to speak my Native language, but I did. The nuns took me to the Mother Superior, Theresa, and she would strap me with a leather strap. She told me to stand with my hands out, and she gave me five on each hand. If I moved, it would be double. I also got strapped in the butt. The strappings were mostly for speaking my language. I was also degraded, called names.

One only has to look into Canada’s fairly recent past to know that Children have been victimized by the Government and religious organizations, and more than once. Some of the Duplessis orphans are still fighting for the truth and compensation. As of this writing, there are questions about the possibility that there are lost graves of victims of medical experiments.

A group of surviving "Duplessis Orphans" wants the current Quebec government to unearth an abandoned cemetery, which they say contains the bodies of orphans who were victims of medical experiments years ago.

The Montreal east end site is now a warehouse for the liquor commission, but until 1958 it was a gravesite.

In Canada there were also victims of forced sterilization, those who were deemed genetically inferior had their reproductive rights taken away.

And finally, there is a recent story in the news,the story of the Haute de la Garenne, a former children’s home in Jersey, UK. The cellar’s are currently being excavated for forensic evidence. Skeletal remains of children have been found, and former residents are now coming forward with horrific stories of abuse and even darker, of children "dissapearing". The evidence does support the victims accounts.

SO what can we do? We can all write to our own MP’s and to the media. It may be good to target the CBC, the Tyee, rabble and all local newspapers.

Join the facebook group,
and start writing letters. Send This link ( to anyone you can think of, and if you haven’t already….Write about it. We are collecting articles in the facebook group itself, and there are some great posts up already.

Spotted media coverage? Please post in the facebook group.

It’s time for the unvarnished truth. And it is time for Justice.

More important to the surviving families, it is time for those poor lost children to finally find their way home.


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    • RiaD on April 29, 2008 at 04:41

    i’d never heard of this at all until now.

    thank you pale for writing it up, bringing this to our attention.

  1. when my Canadian friends and relatives ( from Southern Ontario living in the US now ) get all smug about the moral superiority of Canada compared to the US, I roll my eyes.

    Canadians tend to be very quick to get gleeful about all the sins of America and slightly defensive about the sins of their own country.

  2. Keep us up to date about this and feel free to post essays on anything that intrigues you. Welcome!

  3. I hope you do some follow-up reporting. It takes several tries to make an impression on the mass consciousness.

    Good work, pale.

  4. that needs to be held up to the light of day and remembered. Thanks pale.

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