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The Canadian Holocaust: The (Indian) Residential School Timeline
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Supporting video: Mass genocide of Mohawk children by UK Queen and Vatican uncovered in Canada

Canada: In the 1880s, Canada's government created Indian Residential Schools. The idea was to assimilate Aboriginal peoples into white society. The country's prime minister, John A. MacDonald, said it would get rid of the “Indian problem.” 

The state-legislated, genocidal law was run by the church. Children who were 4-5 years old were forced away from their Indian families to live in "schools" that stripped them of their Indian cultures.

In fact, Hitler studied the residential schools' policies when dealing with those he considered "undesirable." 

The negative impacts of residential schooling on Aboriginal children and their communities has been profound. For the last 15 years or so, residential school survivors have filed almost 13,000 lawsuits against Canada and the churches for abuse.

1620:   A Franciscan order opens the first boarding school at Notre Dame des Abeges near Quebec City [closed 1629]

1636:   Jesuits open boarding school

1668:   Ursuline nuns open a boarding school for girls

1680:   Boarding schools fail

1763:   The end of Seven Years War [the British conquer the French, and the Algonquins lose the French as allies]

1763:   A Royal Proclamation draws a line separating Indian tribal lands from the colonies. They establish a process to purchase, settle, or develop Indian lands. The Crown defines itself as the the Indian protector.

1787:   New England Company opens the Sussex Vale school in New Brunswick

1790s: The American-based Methodist Episcopal church first enters Upper Canada

1812:  America's victory in the War of 1812 ends Tecumseh’s resistance and a military threat by Aboriginal people.

1821:   Committee on Indian Affairs is formed by Methodists at the church’s Genesee Conference. Most attendees did not believe that “Indians” could be Christianized.

1823:   Peter Jones (Mississauga First Nations) converts to Methodist Church.

1826:   Egerton Ryerson is the first ordained Methodist missionary to the Credit River Indians

1820s: Floods of British settlers enter Upper Canada.

1829:   The Mohawk Institute is established at Six Nations by the New England Company

1830:   The military shifts jurisdiction over Aboriginal affairs to civilian authorities

1830s: Indian removal Policies begin in U.S. and Canada

1845:   The Government recommends that Indian boarding schools be set up

1846:   Orillia Conference (Ontario)

:   Indian Affairs consults with Rev. Egerton Ryerson on setting up Indian Industrial Schools

:   Gradual Civilization Act passes with education as part of assimilation.

1867:   British North America Act passes that abolished traditional Aboriginal government

1870s: From 1871 -1887, Canada concludes seven “numbered treaties” for Indian Policy on the prairies. Aboriginal people wanted to secure their livelihood and lands before settlers arrived

1876:   Canada adapts the Indian Act which gives the DIA (Department of Indian Affairs) complete control over the personal, political, social and economic life of Aboriginal people

1879:   The buffalo disappears

1879:  Nicholas Flood Davin recommends that Canada's Indian children be removed from their “evil surroundings.” In the U.S., Industrial Schools  are modeled after a prison commanded by Lt. Richard Henry Pratt. Pratt's motto was “the only good Indian is a dead Indian” … “Kill the Indian in him and save the man”

1880s: Churches start to build schools across Canada

1884:   Sir John A. McDonald introduces a bill to Parliament that makes the potlach [part of religious/cultural/political ceremonies] a crime.

1885:   Indian Pass System requires Indians to have a pass when leaving or entering a reservation.

1885:   The [Louis] Riel Rebellion seeks to preserve Métis rights and culture in their Northwest homelands.  Other Cree chiefs join him to force Canada to live up to its treaty promises.  They and Riel are hanged by Canadian officials.

1889:   Indian Affairs department holds firm to industrial model schools.

1892:   Per Capita Grant for Aboriginal students is passed. [treaty requirements]

1896:   The Canadian government funds 45 church-run residential schools across Canada

1904:   The DIA issues two policies to quicken Indian assimilation:  end Native customs and improve Indian education, and pressure First Nations to give up portions of their lands for settlers.

1907:   Montreal Star and Saturday Night reports on medical inspection of the schools

1907:   Indian Affairs submits the Bryce Report

1912:   3,904 aboriginal children are in residential/industrial schools

1920:   Duncan Campbell Scott from Indian Affair recommends Bill 14 which restates Canada's right to force  attendance at Indian Residential Schools:   “I want to get rid of the Indian problem. I do not think as a matter of fact, that this country ought to continuously protect a class of people who are able to stand alone. That is my whole point. Our Object is to continue until there is not a single Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed into the body politic, and there is no Indian question, and no Indian department and that is the whole object of this Bill.

1930:   75% of the all Aboriginal children between ages 7-15 are in residential schools

1932:   8,213 aboriginal children are in residential/industrial schools

1938:   The per capita grant issued for Aboriginal students was $180 compared to $294 - $642 for white students.

1943:   Integrating Aboriginal students in provincial schools is recommended.

1945:   9,149 registered to attend provincial schools. Only 100 (approx) students in grades over Grade 8 are selected.

1946-48: A special Joint Committee recommended that First Nation Children be educated in mainstream schools wherever and whenever possible.

By 1948: 60% of Indian school population is enrolled in federal schools. But in 1969, 60% were in provincial schools. The number is reduced from 72 schools with 9368 to 52 schools with 7704.

1949:   Canada signs the United Nations Genocide Convention. [Adopted by Parliament in 1952]. Residential Schools operated for 30 years after Canada signed the Convention.
Article 2: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

1951:   Half-day system of school is abandoned

1951:  Changes to make education more familiar to Aboriginal youth is suggested, but not acted upon.

1956:   Canada accepts parental input into education [parents who attended Indian residential schools and were dysfunctional as a result]

By 1959: Number of Grade 9 – 13  students increases from 0 to 2144.

1969:  Canada takes complete management of, or closes, all United Church-related schools

1970s: Schooling becomes the “battleground” for First Nations self government concerns.

1970:   Blue Quills Residential School becomes the first school controlled by a First nation.

1972:   National Indian Brotherhood of Canada calls for an end to federal control of First nation schooling.

1983:   Last residential school in Canada is closed.

1980s: Stories from the victims of Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal residential schools begin to surface.

1986:   The General Council apologizes to Native Congregations

 Assembly of First Nations recommends the transfer of federal and provincial jurisdiction over First Nations education to First Nations control.

1992-3: Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council conducts a research study of the effects of residential schooling on their members. They identify a range of physical, sexual and psychological abuses.

1995:   First Nations control over 80 % of the department’s education budget and 98% of on-reserve schools.


Watch: Mass genocide of Mohawk children by UK Queen and Vatican uncovered in Canada


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