Another important point that Grant brings up is how the residential school

Another important point that grant brings up is how

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Another important point that Grant brings up is how the residential school system became a form of colonialism. Five common elements of colonialism are outlined in Grant’s book and they are as follows, a) a displacement of Aboriginal people by European expansion, b) isolation and containment of Aboriginal people, c) forced assimilation of Aboriginal societies, d) increasing political and economic domination of Aboriginal affairs by the colonizers, and e) the development of a raciest ideology portraying Aboriginal people as backward, savage, uncivilised, and childlike (Grant1996:87). Residential schools were created to impose these exact matters on to Canada’s Aboriginal people and for the government it was simple. As Grant explains, “By gaining control of the children, the government could also control the parents. Education worked toward the long-term objective of weakening Indian nations by destroying the identities of the children, ignoring Indian history and discrediting Indian spiritual knowledge” (Grant1996:87). The staff at these schools steered clear of all cultural teachings and language of the First Nation’s population and instead they taught from a more westernized imperialistic stance. The children were taught how to speak English, learn about the European history and the female children were even taught how to set a table properly for meals. Everything that these children learned was supposed to prepare them for the lives that they were expected to live. The girls would grow up to be housewives and support their husbands and the boys would grow up to join the business world or the industrial world. However, the children that survived their time in residential schools were not prepared for the real world. This was because of the extreme physical and sexual abuse that most of the children experienced, as well as the immense psychological abuse that ultimately destroyed a child’s confidence and ability to dream. The psychological abuse was a result of several different factors, spanning from intense isolation-from family back home and from siblings and friends
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within the school-to being a witness of the severe cruelty displayed on their peers. These elements left the children unable to deal with death as every disturbing image they had seen would haunt them forever. Also, they did not receive proper support and time to deal with these incidents. A couple firsthand accounts from students at these schools have been included to provide a better insight of what these ‘incidents’ were like. The first one is from Eleanor Brass as she tells the Globe and Mail about her friend Cora, “She killed her…I don’t remember what Cora got for it – it wasn’t much of anything. After that whipping, she just lay there for days until she died” (Grant2003:135). Doris Young, another residential school survivor shares the death of a young boy at the school, “I don’t know for sure what they did with his body…there were two of them in the boiler room pounding him with their fists. I think they took that kid and put him in
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