Guest post: Almost none of the people involved in the school operations were ever interviewed

Originally a comment by Jenora Feuer on The schools, financed by the government but run largely by churches

never speak in your mother tongue to anyone, fellow student or staff, on penalty of a beating.

Yeah, “Kill the Indian, Save the Man” was pretty blatantly the point of the system. Forced assimilation and conformity. Utterly destroy any sense of being different and actually deserving of respect. Eradicate the local cultures.

Titles like “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” reek of cover ups,

Well, despite Prime Minister Harper officially apologizing on behalf of the federal government at the time this Commission was set up, his actions in general over the years leave little doubt that he’d be happy if that apology were all he had to do and he could just ignore the results.

The fact that the Commission had no authority to offer amnesty in exchange for testimony meant, unsurprisingly, that almost none of the people involved in the school operations were ever interviewed.

Almost all the people heard from were the victims. (Which in many ways is the way it should have been, but the problem is that the abusers would have been the only ones who would have known about money trails and the like, so actively taking apart any remnants of the system is harder without them.)

It’s also notable that the commission was supposed to have finished last year; but the federal government had to be ordered to hand over some of the documents back in 2013, and going through all that required extending the commission.

As I said, I expect Harper was hoping that the formal apology and setting up the commission would be all he would be required to do, and he could just let the whole thing die in committee.


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