Thursday, January 26, 2017

Teacher POV on Residential Schools

Residential Schools were 'taught' by missionaries and nuns. The main focus of the First Nations children's' education at the Residential Schools was religion. The main purpose of residential schools was to assimilate the First Nations into European culture, so religion was a big part of that. Also as a part of their education, girls were taught to do laundry, sew, cook, and clean; while the boys were taught carpentry, tinsmithing, and farming. These were everyday lessons and were taught by the nuns and missionaries (people who did these things).
A lot of the teachers who accepted the jobs at residential schools were not fully aware of what the children were going through. Some of them thought they were there to nurture the kids. Much like Florence Kaefer, some were shocked to learn (40 years later) that all kinds of abuse was bestowed upon the kids by other staff members.
Decades later, many of the old residential school teachers reconciled with the old residential school students. Many were not as aware as people thought. Sometimes there was abuse, but a lot of times there wasn't. We now see that what they were doing was very wrong and cruel, but then, to them they  were teaching the First Nations children the European way of life, not stripping them of who they were.
A lot of former teachers of residential schools have shown empathy for the students that they used to care for. They are upset by the reputation left behind and they are willing to share their side of the story so that they can restore their relationship with the past.

"In the late 1980s, many former students came forward with stories detailing physical and sexual abuse, cultural repression and enforced loss of language. Some eventually filed lawsuits against the federal government and the churches.
In 1993, Archbishop Michael Peers, then the Anglican church’s primate, apologized for the church’s involvement in the schools and for the harm it had done to aboriginal people.
Since then, the Anglican church has sought to address the residential schools legacy in various ways, including support for indigenous ministries, the establishment of a healing fund in 1991, and signing both the initial Residential Schools Settlement Agreement in 2003 and the revised agreement in 2007".
Residential schools staff urged to share stories. (2011). Uploaded by Anglican Journal. Available online at:
Image result for residential school teachers
Canada's residential school story to be taught in classrooms this fall.(2015). Uploaded by CBC. Available online at:

Info references
Living conditions at the residential schools. (2009). Uploaded by First Nations and Indigenous Studdies. Available online at:

Back to the Red Road. (2015). Uploaded by Caitlin Press Inc.. Available online at:

Residential schools staff urged to share stories. (2011). Uploaded by Anglican Journal. Available online at:

1 comment:

  1. Hello, my name is Bryce. I'm an education student from Brandon University. In one of our classes, we had the pleasure of having Mrs. Thompson share with us about this blog written by you - her students. I think blog writing is a great way to share your thoughts and information about what's going on in the world around us.
    Residential school can be a sensitive subject for some, but I think that the main reason for that is people aren't well informed about what really occurred. You did a great job of pointing that out in this post.
    Keep up the great work and happy blogging!
    - Bryce


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