The treatment of Canada’s Indigenous population present and past is undeniably horrific. The introduction of Residential Schools during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s has impacted many generations of aboriginals and unsurprisingly the impacts of the residential schools are still felt today among the aboriginal community. Despite Canada’s international image of peacekeeping and its diverse portfolio of many cultures, their treatment of the native population is quite hypocritical to the “peacekeeping” title they hold. The Indigenous community has suffered many injustices, and residential schools is only a fraction of their suffering. Before I talk about the horrible impacts of the residential schools, the fact that the last residential school closed in 1996, many years after the UN Charter of Human Rights was created (In which Canada was a major figure during its creation) is quite astonishing to me. This shines a light on the fact that colonial ideologies are still active and present. The purpose of the residential schools was to strip aboriginal children from their native culture and community to assimilate them with the Christian European culture that belonged to the settlers. Many children who attended these schools was not done by choice, they were kidnapped or taken away by force by government officials. Any parent that tried to resist were faced with punishment for simply trying to protect their child. Children as young as six years old were stripped out of their families and placed into abusive institutions that violate many basic human rights that many of us enjoyed and continue to enjoy. Electric chairs were a form of abuse that the children experienced as a form of punishment for things that they did not even do. It was a form of satisfaction for the people in power to watch the kids suffer. This surprised me because this horrifying detail was always left out when we were taught about residential schools. Of course we were taught about the abuse that occurred, yet it was limited to beatings, which are still very malicious. Yet the use of electric torturing is beyond the limit of evil, that no child nor human is supposed to experience. Due to the abuse that these children had to endure and witness, it created many psychological issues among the children. One of the survivors in the documentary, "Canada's Dark History", stated that simply any crime TV shows or the sound shattering of glass frightens her to this day, causing her to scream. The horrors she experienced will never leave her. What affected me the most was the fact that many of the children were made to believe that their parents were evil for abandoning them, despite them not having a choice. Another survivor stated that when her mother came to visit, she was overwhelmed with many emotions of hate and love. The effects of residential schools are still felt till today, making the aboriginal population the most underrepresented community in Canada which is truly heartbreaking and a wakeup call for all Canadians to educate themselves about this issue to move forward in combating these impacts.
Although my paragraph does not go into much detail, the current treatment of the Indigenous population is as saddening as the residential schools. Till today, aboriginal children are still taken away from their parents and placed into foster care. This is an issue that the international community must not look away from.