A councillor from a Sask. southern reserve was commenting on the issue of the Nebraska government not honouring a dry- reserve status. He went on verbal cruise control and started talking about residential school “ abuse “. He said that his generation which suffered from residential schoolism is sobering up but the young generation on his reserve is still involved in drugs and alcohol. The reporter, as usual, did not challenge this very illogical statement.
His generation went to residential school. This generation has got out of drugs and alcohol. The generation which did not go to residential school is involved in destruction. Since that is the case how can the chief blame residential schools for destructive lifestyles ? There are those who will go so far as to say that Lance Greenbear is toking up, drinking up and beating up his girlfriend because his grandmother went to residential school for four years. But surely even the most maudlin politically correct toady would find this hard to accept.
All grade twelve graduates from residential schools could read, write and do arithmetic. Can that be said of graduates of reserve or northern day schools? The residential school graduate not only knew arithmetic but algebra, geometry and possibly trigonometry just as the graduate from any other part of the province at that time knew those things.
If the student went to residential school only to grade 3 or 4 he left knowing how to read. Can that be said of students who attended day school for three years?
The residential school student learned his catechism, knew the Ten Commandments
and went on to become leaders in the local parish. Many children today can’t recite the Lord’s Prayer or tell you four of the Ten. They don’t know a hymn in Cree, Dene or English. Bishop Charlebois made it clear that his residential schools only accept Catholic students from Catholic homes unless at the definite request of the parent. Priests did not grab children of pagan parents and force them into residential school. Missionaries evangelised the parents first and the child was at the school as a privileged ten percent of the child population.
When people put on a workshop, conference or training course they usually do not have one in Creighton, one in Ducharm and one in Brabant Lake but hold it at a large centre like Prince Albert and make provisions for people to travel there. That is very obvious. So why is it not obvious that the reason why a residential school was residential in one centre because families on a trap line or in a settlement of 30 or 100 people would not have any school unless it was a residential one ? I lived in the North when there were no roads to Southend, Stanley Mission, or Black Lake and many places besides. It would be rather expensive and dangerous to transport children daily by plane to school.
Abuse as defined in the residential school issue is attending a residential school, participating in religious exercises and catechism classes when the school was a religious school operated by a religious denomination. Is it now abuse when a Catholic School in Saskatoon teaches a smattering of Catholicism or expects participation in Confession at a school traditionally called Confessional ?
There may have been incidents of actual sexual abuse in these schools but it is certain not one incident was proven, in the usual legal sense, to have happened. Today there are proven, publicly known cases of sexual abuse and often no conviction is made. If it is an act of sodomy it is deemed that protecting the victim and punishing the guilty is infringing on a human right because the perpetrator may define himself as a homosexual. If it is the rape of a girl by a male it is often deemed cultural and trivial
The residential school issue was a forty year ploy to wean natives from Christianity particularly Catholicism. Lawyers like Tony Merchant became literally, filthy rich and the natives, those fortunate to be the literate of their generation, got their pay out.The cheques have been delivered. Now it’s time to check into reality. Gay