Residential schools in Canada

I mean residential schools for aboriginal peoples. John Wilkins at Evolving Thoughts blogged about the Roman Catholic residential schools scandal in Ireland and PZ Myers had a few things to say on Pharyngula: The Catholic League downplays the evils of child abuse.

That reminded me that I hadn’t covered the Truth & Reconciliation Commission in Canada. In 2007, it Canada’s parliament formally apologized for the wrongs done and a compensation package of $1.9 billion was put in place. You can read about it on the CBC’s Residential Schools FAQ. For one thing, the schools were hotbeds of tuberculosis infection.

The main purpose of the schools was to separate children from their ancestral culture. This purpose is now considered to be genocidal, because to obliterate a culture has similar effects in history as obliterating a people.

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