Your answers to questions about the Canadian boarding school system


Warning: This story contains some details that may be painful for readers.

The remains of 215 children believed to be found at the site of a former boarding school in Kamloops, British Columbia, shocked Canadians and renewed attention to what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “The history of our country is dark and dark. Shameful chapter”. “

This also reminds once again the aboriginal people living in Canada that they have always known a painful history.

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation stated last week, Preliminary results of ground penetrating radar survey The remains were found at the former Kamloops Indian Boarding School, confirming what the community has learned from oral history.

After the news broke, readers of CBC raised questions about Canada’s boarding school system and its consequences. Here are the answers to some of your questions.

How many children are forced to attend these schools?

Between the 1870s and 1997, more than 150,000 Aboriginal, Métis, and Inuit children were forced to attend church-run, government-funded schools.

An amendment to the “India Act” in 1894 stipulated that boarding school must be attended. Children are taken away from the family and culture, forced to learn English, accept Christianity, and accept the custom of the white majority in the country.

The National Truth and Reconciliation Center inspected the boarding schools and determined the names or information of the following schools: More than 4,100 children died When attending these schools, most of them are due to malnutrition or disease.

Former Senator Murray Sinclair, chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) that reviews boarding schools, said he believes that the school’s poor burial records may increase the number of deaths.

How many schools are there? where are they?

Indian Boarding School Placement Agreement (IRSSA) 139 boarding schools approved The whole of Canada. However, this number does not include schools that operate without federal support, such as schools run entirely by religious groups or the provincial government.

Click here to view a larger version of the boarding school location map.

These 139 schools operate in all provinces and territories in Canada except Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador. (Have Boarding schools in the Netherlands, But they are not included in IRSSA. )

In 1931, at the height of the boarding school system, there were about 80 schools nationwide.

The last closed in 1997 was Kivalliq Hall in Rankin Inlet, now Nunavut. (It only became an IRSSA accredited school in 2019, which is why the earlier account described the closure of the last school in 1996.)

Who is held accountable?

In the system described by TRC, many children in boarding schools are physically, sexually or psychologically abused In its landmark 2015 report As a cultural genocide.

In 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally apologized in the House of Commons on behalf of the Canadian government for boarding schools and the damage they caused to indigenous people.

Watch | Harper apologized for boarding school in 2008:

In Parliament, Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized to the boarding school survivors and all aboriginal Canadians. 2:54

The apology was nine months after the incident India Boarding School Settlement Agreement It took effect. A comprehensive class action solution — involving survivors, the federal government, and the church that manages the school — includes the establishment of a truth and reconciliation committee.

It also includes financial compensation, which takes two forms: payment for the joint experience of all students attending the school, and an independent evaluation process that arbitrates claims made by students who have suffered abuse at the school.

More than $3 billion According to a report released in March this year, 28,000 victims of boarding school abuse have been paid.

What comment or action does the Vatican have on this?

The Catholic Church ran about 70% of Canada’s boarding schools, including Kamloops boarding school from 1890 to 1969, after which it was taken over by the federal government as a local day school until 1978.

Although other churches, such as the Anglican Church and the United Church, have formally apologized for their role in the boarding school system, the Catholic Church has so far refused to do so.

The most recent happened in 2009, when Pope Benedict XVI expresses “sadness” Some “sad” behaviors of church members. In 2018, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Canada stated Pope Francis “feeling he could not respond personally” Ask for an apology for the boarding school.

However, many Catholic church leaders in Canada have personally apologized, whether it’s before with Rear The discovery of Kamloops.

The Catholic Church also refused to publish many documents of its boarding school, citing privacy laws, which may reveal unmarked cemeteries.

At the same time, the party’s critic of indigenous youth and New Democratic Party member Charlie Angus said that the church has avoided paying survivors’ compensation.

As part of the IRSSA, Catholic groups were required to pay tens of millions of US dollars-29 million US dollars in cash to the now-defunct Indigenous Healing Foundation, 25 million US dollars of “in-kind” services, and use their “best efforts” to raise funds for the treatment plan 25 million U.S. dollars.However, the disputed court ruling in 2015 Get the group out of trouble After they only raised $4 million of the $25 million goal.

Is there an inquiry?

TRC issued 94 calls to action in its landmark 2015 report, including sections on missing children and cemeteries.

It called on the federal government to work with churches, Indigenous communities, and former students to “establish and maintain an online register of boarding school graveyards, including, where possible, drawing maps showing the location of children in deceased boarding schools.”

Royal and Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett said on Wednesday that the government has Approximately 33 million yuan was allocated Implement TRC and burial-related recommendations in its 2019 budget.

However, so far, the money has hardly been spent, and there is still $27 million available. Bennett said the money “will be distributed in emergency situations” in collaboration with the Winnipeg-based National Truth and Reconciliation Center and indigenous communities that plan or are conducting website searches.

On Wednesday, members of Metepenagiag First Nation held a parade to raise awareness and commemorate the 215 children in New Brunswick. (Gary Moore/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

Are there other schools currently investigating?

TRC concluded in its 2015 report that the bodies of most students who died in schools Not returned To their hometown community.

The committee has 51 death records of children At Kamloops Indian Boarding School. In light of recent discoveries, Trudeau has pledged federal support for the protection of the cemetery and may find more unmarked cemeteries in other former boarding schools.

However, he and his ministers emphasized that indigenous communities need to decide for themselves how they want to proceed.

Aboriginal Services Minister Mark Miller said on Wednesday that Ottawa is “keeping up with the pace of the community” and intends to develop culturally appropriate agreements to commemorate the missing children.

Where are the leaders of these schools now?

The University of British Columbia said this week Review of honorary degrees The late Catholic Bishop John Fergus O’Grady was the former principal of Kamloops boarding school.

The Kamloops discovery has also increased calls across Canada to call on cities and institutions to abolish the honor given to those who participated in the establishment of the boarding school system.

On Monday, demonstrators gathered in front of the controversial John Macdonald statue in Charlottetown to hold a vigil for 215 children. A few hours later, the city council voted to remove the statue. (John Robertson/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

In Prince Edward Island, a statue of John A. Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada, Deleted after voting Charlottetown City Council.

Toronto Ryerson University is urged Change the name and remove the statue The campus of Egerton Ryerson.The university’s school of journalism has stated that it will Rename its two publications.

At the same time, the Calgary Board of Education passed a motion calling for Rename Langevin School, Named after Hector-Louis Langevin, one of the fathers of the Confederation and considered the architect of the boarding school system.


Anyone affected by the boarding school experience and those affected by the latest report can receive support.

A nationwide Indian boarding school crisis hotline has been established to provide support to former students and those affected. People can call the 24-hour national crisis hotline: 1-866-925-4419 for emotional and crisis referral services.



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