Reconciliation report shines light on ‘dark chapter’ in Canadian past


By Teresa Smith, Postmedia News February 23, 2012

The Indian Residential School system was “not simply a dark chapter from our past,” says a report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “It was integral to the making of Canada.”

That a young Canada benefited from an education system designed to assimilate Aboriginal Peoples — by taking away their children and re-educating them — is difficult to swallow.

But, as the report released late Thursday says, the fact that this idea is news to many Canadians is part of the problem.

It goes further, saying the Residential School system was only part of a system designed to gain control of aboriginal land. “The Canadian government signed treaties it did not respect, took over land without making treaties, and unilaterally passed laws that controlled nearly every aspect of aboriginal life.”

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