Questions for "The Bitter Legacy of Canada's Forced-Assimilation Boarding Schools"
- First, look at the photo of Mike Pinay without any context. What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you see it?
- Think about your own identity. How do you define it? Who, or what, should define a person's identity?
- Is there a "case for reparations" to be made here? Should the Canadian government be responsible for making sure the effects of the residential schooling system are mitigated? If so, what should they do?
"For 120 years, the Canadian government operated a network of Indian Residential Schools that were meant to assimilate young indigenous students into western Canadian culture. Indian agents would take children from their homes as young as two or three and send them to church-run boarding schools where they were punished for speaking their native languages or observing any indigenous traditions, routinely sexually and physically assaulted, and in some extreme instances subjected to medical experimentation and sterilization.
"The last residential school closed in 1996. The Canadian government issued its first formal apology in 2008."
-Daniella Zalcman's project page, "Signs of Your Identity," on Pulitzer Center website
In this lesson we'll examine the work of Daniella Zalcman and introduce her project about the legacy of Canada's residential schooling system.