Tag Archives: Assimilation
How to Look at Canada’s Indian Residential Schools Archive
Photo: Rupert’s Land Indian Industrial School / later St. Paul’s Indian Residential School, 1901. Library and Archives Canada PA-182251.
WITH VERY few exceptions, the men and women who created and sustained Canada’s Indian Residential School System believed that the policy of “aggressive assimilation”* was benevolent and forward-looking. The absorption of the Indian into Canadian society, necessary to possess land and resources and to build a nation-state, was the desired outcome of policies and the final solution of the Indian Problem envisioned by Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, Duncan Campbell Scott. The policy of assimilation neither began nor ended with the Indian Residential School System. The program of assimilation continues to this day, for the simple reason that nation-building, from sea to shining sea, continues.
According to conventional wisdom, the man-bites-dog story of Oujé-Bougoumou should have been a front page affair — and yet only one national news agency, of which I am aware, reported this Cree community’s banning of Native spirituality within reserve limits. Continue reading Oujé-Bougoumou