Residential schools: Success or failure?
LE3 .A278 2012
Bachelor of Science
This thesis explores one part of the social reality of the First Nations people by focusing on the Residential School experience. I began my research into the possible causes of the deplorable social conditions that the First Nations people find themselves. It is the intention of this thesis to provide insight and understanding of these conditions with the hope of identifying potential resolutions. A literal search identifies the Residential School experience as the main contributor to the social ills suffered by my people, the Mi’ Kmaq. I explore a social education that may alleviate some of the social and psychological fallout from years of colonization, genocide, attempted assimilation, imprisonment, stigmatization, and total social rejection that is the Residential School experience. A review of the Canadian/First Nations relation shows that a country, which once relied on the First Nations people for survival, turned on its benefactor. The subjugation of an entire people and the destruction of our culture reduced the once proud, independent, and self-sufficient First Nations people to less than second-class citizens in their own country. This stigma became the legacy of the First Nations people. A literature review of stigma gives insight into the practices through which a stereotyped people may manage their tainted social image. Assessing the resilience of the First Nations people indicates they have the stamina to persevere and, through social education, to build on their rich cultural heritage. A rebirth of their culture, acceptance in the great social realm of Canada, and belief in a new partnership with Canada may hold the resolution the First Nations seek.
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