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Reader feedback: Residential schools a cruel era in Canada's history

Re: Roma leaders agree with boarding schools, Flash news briefs, Vol 10, No 19, May 17 - 23

Please alert your readers that Canada took children from aboriginal parents in order to assimilate our many nations into the greater, and later, Canadian society. Canada's goal was to "whiten" our people, physically, emotionally, and mentally.

While I never experienced the residential school, I have known aboriginal peoples who have. Believe me, it is not in the best interests of children to be removed from their homes for the purpose of state assimilation. Nor does it matter what age they are. If the intent is assimilation, it is bad. The best solution is to allow peoples to be who they are, not to make them disappear.

To undo what Canada has done to our peoples, we now have to unlearn what they have taught us; we have to create our own standards of living and life. Thankfully, we are strong nations of aboriginal peoples and we've survived assimilation and now work to undo that mean and nasty era where outsiders sought to hurt us. Learn from Canada's first nations. Keep children with their families; focus on giving families and their society the tools to survive and to continue their being and presence in peace and friendship.

Donna Isaac
Listuguj Indian Reserve, Quebec, Canada

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