Also upon arrival children were forced to cut of their braids In many

Also upon arrival children were forced to cut of

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provide enough coverage for winter months. Also, upon arrival children were forced to cut of their braids. In many Aboriginal communities cutting of a braid signifies the death of a mother. This happened to a student, Dan Kennedy, who wondered “after my haircut, I wondered in silence if my mother had died” (Burnett & Read, 2016, p. 249). This practice shows the unjust mental abuse seriously impacted the children to the point they believed their relatives died. Students of residential schools were also subjected to the spread of disease throughout the institutions. According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, at least 3,200 Indigenous Students died in the overcrowded residential schools (Miller, 2012). Furthermore, Miller explains, “Underfed and malnourished, the students were particularly vulnerable to diseases such as tuberculosis and influenza ”(2012). This information supports the notion that the living conditions were so unbearable that it caused serious health problems and even death for the children that attended the schools. Celia Haig-Brown explains, “Pulling ears, slapping heads and hitting knuckles”, were some of the regular physical abuse students were forced to endure (Burnett & Read,
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2016, p.252). Although the abuse did not stop there, older students, as well as teachers, subjected many of the students to sexual abuse. Furthermore, the children were often kept around as slaves and forced to work for people that run the schools. Clearly these living conditions proved unbearable to many of the student who made desperate attempt to run away from the schools. Chanie Wenjack was one of the many young boys that tried to desperately flee the school, but dies as a result of the brutal winter weather conditions (The Canadian Encyclopedia). Another attempt of assimilating Aboriginal children in to mainstream society by way of forced removal in known as “The Sixties Scoop”. The Sixties Scoop was a movement that took place throughout the 19060’s, 1970’s, and the early 80’s. This movement paralleled the Indian Residential School System, because it was marked by the forced removal of Aboriginal children that were placed up for adoption. It is important to note that adoption of Aboriginal children into non-Aboriginal families was advocated for. This was also another similarity to IRS because children that were adopted into non- Aboriginal families were stripped of their heritage and were not taught Native traditions. According to Christine Smith, in the Burnett and read text, “figures from Aboriginal Affairs indicate that at least 11,132 status children were adopted in this period” (Burnett & Read, 2016, p.209). These statistics show the vast amount of individuals The Sixties Scoop affected. Much like the Indian Residential School System, The Sixties Scoop is viewed as one of the most traumatic event to have had happen to the Aboriginal community. Both occurrences have inflicted long lasting intergenerational trauma on the Aboriginal community.
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