Ideal for diseases; for children not quite


According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC ) report of 2021,

For Aboriginal children, the relocation to residential schools was generally no healthier than their homes had been on the reserves. In 1897, Indian Affairs official Martin Benson reported that the industrial schools in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories had been hurriedly constructed of poor materials, badly laid out, without provision for lighting, heating, or ventilation.” In addition, drainage was poor, and water and fuel supplies were inadequate. Conditions were not any better in the church-built schools.”


The TRC reported how schools were selected without proper regard for either water supply or drainage. “Students’ health depended on clean water, good sanitation, and adequate ventilation.  But little was done to improve the poor living conditions that were identified at the beginning of the twentieth century.” Schools also were frequently not just dilapidated but “acute fire hazards,” according to R.A Hoey, not some left wing radical, but a man who had served as Indian Affairs Superintendent of Welfare and Training.  He said schools were generally of faulty construction and often failed to meet the minimum standards in the construction of public buildings, particularly institutions for the education of children.”

These were dreadful conditions for children to live in, but they were ideal conditions for diseases such as tuberculosis and others to flourish. Then, we must remember, Canada required many indigenous people to send their children to these schools. They could be imprisoned for disobeying this requirement. Children were often rudely yanked out of loving homes and sent to these fire traps “for their own good.”  What kind of good is that?

Imagine taking children from homes where they were loved to what were called residential schools or even industrial schools. Think about it.


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