Graves at Residential schools

rustled
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 15951
Joined: Dec 26th, 2010, 12:47 pm

Re: Graves at Residential schools

Post by rustled »

Ka-El wrote: Jun 25th, 2021, 2:34 pm
rustled wrote:Perhaps some are simply so uncomfortable when people talk about anything other than the atrocities, the trauma, and the harm, they must justify their discomfort by accusing those who are prepared to speak with full honestly about residential schools of deflecting and minimizing.
It seems important to you to prevent any discussion of residential schools that isn't focused entirely on the atrocities, the trauma and the harms done, as though context is a bad thing - a "deflection".

Surely we are all aware that judging the actions of people without attempting to understand the context is wrong.

I've been surprised at how many people react to the news about the grave sites without considering any context at all.
Ideology...gives evil-doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination...[it] is the social theory which helps to make his actions seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes...
-Solzhenitsyn
User avatar
Alien Head Dude
Walks on Forum Water
Posts: 14581
Joined: Oct 18th, 2015, 9:19 am

Re: Graves at Residential schools

Post by Alien Head Dude »

rustled wrote: It seems important to you to prevent any discussion of residential schools that isn't focused entirely on the atrocities, the trauma and the harms done, as though context is a bad thing - a "deflection".
I’m not preventing discussion of anything. I have repeatedly acknowledged that if we look hard enough, we can suggest that some good came out of going to residential schools for a few. I have clearly stated there always are exceptions to every situation, and if you’d like to use this thread to highlight all of them then great. That’s not going to change the truth that in our lifetime (mine anyway) more than 100.000 children were taken from their families, removed from their community and culture, and warehoused in these schools where they were not allowed to speak their own language. They were taught they had no souls and made to feel shame, and yes, many were malnourished, neglected and both physically and sexually abused. More than 4000 of these children (in our lifetime) never returned home, and the ones who did carried toxic dysfunction back to their communities and this has carried through to the current generation. But ya, let’s talk about success stories and how so much good was accomplished. I am so saddened that in this day and age people are still making excuses for racism.
The hard-right Cons on this board don't like anyone referencing the findings from the research
into conservative "thinking", but they sure do enjoy providing us with plenty of evidence for it.
User avatar
GordonH
Grumpy Old Bleep
Posts: 32620
Joined: Oct 4th, 2008, 7:21 pm

Re: Graves at Residential schools

Post by GordonH »

GordonH wrote: Jun 25th, 2021, 1:29 pm Maybe as long as next of kin are informed of cause of death and body is returned.

No more secrets or hiding, the truth needs to be an open book.
rustled wrote: Jun 25th, 2021, 1:51 pm Permission from the families won't always be possible, though.

We don't yet know if the families want the graves disturbed. It will be up to them, and we really can't expect to be given access to all of the information - or that as much information as we'd like will even be available to anyone. Knowing the recent downing of an airliner left a lot of unanswered questions for the families of the people who died, it seems sensible to expect to have a great many unanswered questions about these grave sites, too.

Although I think we all would want to see as many facts as possible laid out where everyone can see them, much of the evidence about residential schools has always been out in plain sight and people haven't put much effort into understanding it. Despite all the evidence available, we still see people calling the sites "mass graves" and suggesting the majority of the graves contain children who died of intentional abuse and neglect. It seems to me making a lot of redacted documents available may only serve as more inflammatory fodder for anger and distrust and trauma.
Without very detailed burial information, Families won’t know who’s who without proper DNA tests.
I don't give a damn whether people/posters like me or dislike me, I'm not on earth to win any popularity contests.
birdsarentreal.com
rustled
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 15951
Joined: Dec 26th, 2010, 12:47 pm

Re: Graves at Residential schools

Post by rustled »

Ka-El wrote: Jun 25th, 2021, 3:10 pm
rustled wrote: It seems important to you to prevent any discussion of residential schools that isn't focused entirely on the atrocities, the trauma and the harms done, as though context is a bad thing - a "deflection".
I’m not preventing discussion of anything. I have repeatedly acknowledged that if we look hard enough, we can suggest that some good came out of going to residential schools for a few. I have clearly stated there always are exceptions to every situation, and if you’d like to use this thread to highlight all of them then great.
Nowhere have I ever said or implied my objective is to use this thread to highlight exceptions. What an odd thing to suggest.
Ka-El wrote:That’s not going to change the truth that in our lifetime (mine anyway) more than 100.000 children were taken from their families, removed from their community and culture, and warehoused in these schools where they were not allowed to speak their own language. They were taught they had no souls and made to feel shame, and yes, many were malnourished, neglected and both physically and sexually abused. More than 4000 of these children (in our lifetime) never returned home, and the ones who did carried toxic dysfunction back to their communities and this has carried through to the current generation.
Nowhere have I attempted to claim otherwise.
Ka-El wrote:But ya, let’s talk about success stories and how so much good was accomplished. I am so saddened that in this day and age people are still making excuses for racism.
I have never said "let's talk about success stories and how so much good was accomplished", though. Wherever you are getting that notion from, it's never been my purpose or intent - I've always been clear on the whole truth, including context.

You keep suggesting that by insisting we include context, I have been making excuses for racism. That's an accusation stemming from something in your own belief system, I suppose. At any rate, it's not something you have the right to foist on me.

There is never any excuse for racism. There's no excuse for bigotry, or for stereotyping, or for prejudice. And there is also no excuse for rejecting context when discussing what happened to people in our residential schools.
Last edited by rustled on Jun 25th, 2021, 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Ideology...gives evil-doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination...[it] is the social theory which helps to make his actions seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes...
-Solzhenitsyn
rustled
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 15951
Joined: Dec 26th, 2010, 12:47 pm

Re: Graves at Residential schools

Post by rustled »

GordonH wrote: Jun 25th, 2021, 3:16 pm
GordonH wrote: Jun 25th, 2021, 1:29 pm Maybe as long as next of kin are informed of cause of death and body is returned.

No more secrets or hiding, the truth needs to be an open book.
rustled wrote: Jun 25th, 2021, 1:51 pm Permission from the families won't always be possible, though.

We don't yet know if the families want the graves disturbed. It will be up to them, and we really can't expect to be given access to all of the information - or that as much information as we'd like will even be available to anyone. Knowing the recent downing of an airliner left a lot of unanswered questions for the families of the people who died, it seems sensible to expect to have a great many unanswered questions about these grave sites, too.

Although I think we all would want to see as many facts as possible laid out where everyone can see them, much of the evidence about residential schools has always been out in plain sight and people haven't put much effort into understanding it. Despite all the evidence available, we still see people calling the sites "mass graves" and suggesting the majority of the graves contain children who died of intentional abuse and neglect. It seems to me making a lot of redacted documents available may only serve as more inflammatory fodder for anger and distrust and trauma.
Without very detailed burial information, Families won’t know who’s who without proper DNA tests.
Even then, I don't think we can even assume most families would want DNA testing, and it may be that many of the families don't want the graves disturbed at all - what then?

They've asked us to be patient while they figure all of this out, and there's much for them to discuss. May be a while before they decide how to proceed.
Ideology...gives evil-doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination...[it] is the social theory which helps to make his actions seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes...
-Solzhenitsyn
Silverstarqueen
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 20484
Joined: Jul 22nd, 2012, 8:02 pm

Re: Graves at Residential schools

Post by Silverstarqueen »

Maybe now, at the very least, records will actually be released.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british- ... -1.6078260
User avatar
Hurtlander
Walks on Forum Water
Posts: 10854
Joined: Jun 23rd, 2013, 10:48 am

Re: Graves at Residential schools

Post by Hurtlander »

If the catholic church doesn’t turn over all the documents and records, including death records, concerning their operation of residential schools, the federal and provincial governments should immediately start collecting property and income tax from the Catholic Church, that’ll get the churches attention PDQ. There’s some catholic churches and cathedrals sitting on very prime real estate.. The tax money collected from the catholic church should then be turned over to First National residential school survivors and their families.
Keep on Truckin
User avatar
Bsuds
The Wagon Master
Posts: 51234
Joined: Apr 21st, 2005, 10:46 am

Re: Graves at Residential schools

Post by Bsuds »

Hurtlander wrote: Jun 25th, 2021, 6:31 pm If the catholic church doesn’t turn over all the documents and records, including death records, concerning their operation of residential schools, the federal and provincial governments should immediately start collecting property and income tax from the Catholic Church, that’ll get the churches attention PDQ. There’s some catholic churches and cathedrals sitting on very prime real estate.. The tax money collected from the catholic church should then be turned over to First National residential school survivors and their families.
:up: :up:

Back dated to when they were built!
All my passwords are protected by amnesia!
User avatar
fvkasm2x
Guru
Posts: 7249
Joined: Apr 1st, 2007, 3:06 pm

Re: Graves at Residential schools

Post by fvkasm2x »

rustled wrote: Jun 25th, 2021, 12:38 pm
Context DOES matter, to anyone who is genuinely committed to truth.
Very true.

It's also important to find out when and how/why they died. While this may seem irrelevant to many, it actually dictates just how bad of a travesty it is.

If the vast majority of these kids died say from 1890-1940 of things like TB, Smallpox and other diseases, then that's terrible and part of the horrific story of Europeans settling here and taking control of the land and people.

If there were a big chunk determined to be murders, medical testing or recent deaths... then the situation goes into a whole different level and an even higher form of outrage
Able
Fledgling
Posts: 217
Joined: Jun 11th, 2015, 4:33 pm

Residential School Deaths

Post by Able »

The news regarding the recent uncovering of the hundreds of graves at residential school sites operated by the Catholic Church in partnership with Government agencies is a stain on Canadian society that will never be erased. No longer will Canada be able to chastise any foreign nation for marginalizing, brutalizing, or eradicating their citizens. We have lost that privilege and that moral standing in the international forum.

There were approximately 130 residential schools established in Canada over the course of their existence and the reports of unmarked grave sites discovered to date, although in the hundreds, represent less than a handful of the potential sites yet to be examined. This disgrace and the moral outrage that is the natural and human response to such vile acts perpetrated on young children is in its infancy and will have an enduring effect on Canadian society and how we as a country are viewed by the wider world.

The poet John Donne, in the 1600s, wrote a poem that in a very small way examines the impact of any death on society. It was written in the vernacular of the time so substitute, in your mind, the word "man" for "child", or youth or person to bring it into todays domain.

No Man Is An Island


No man is an island, entire of itself;

every man is a piece of the continent,

a part of the main.


If a clod be washed away by the sea,

Europe is the less,

as well as if a promontory were,

as well as if a manor of thy friends

or of thine own were.


Any mans death diminishes me,

because I am involved in mankind;

and therefore never send to know

for whom the bell tolls;

it tolls for thee.



Canada and Canadian society has been sorely diminished by the acts of the Catholic church and previous Canadian governments and it is we and our children who will bear this shame.
Last edited by Able on Jun 26th, 2021, 1:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sometimes you eat the bear.....sometimes the bear eats you.
Silverstarqueen
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 20484
Joined: Jul 22nd, 2012, 8:02 pm

Re: Graves at Residential schools

Post by Silverstarqueen »

foenix wrote: Jun 25th, 2021, 12:44 pm
rustled wrote: Jun 25th, 2021, 12:38 pm People need to stop suggesting that when someone expects adherence to the full truth rather than a narrative, they are "making excuses" for atrocities.
No one has made excuses for atrocities.
Context DOES matter, to anyone who is genuinely committed to truth.
Any reconciliation that requires people ignore part of the truth, any reconciliation that requires strict adherence to the dogma of a narrow, single-sided view of residential schools, is phony reconciliation.
Working toward a phony reconciliation that relies on half-truths can only do more harm than good.
Please enlighten us with these "half-truths".......please be specific.
Also I'd like to know in which "context" was it okay to use "education" as an excuse to forcibly remove children from their families, and use the horrible "disciplinary" measures that were so common in these Catholic residential schools. In which "context" is it okay to sexually abuse children, even if it was only hundreds of priests, and some percentage (not all) of the children? None of that had anything to do with "education", which could have been accomplished with far more civilized methods.
The Truth is: this was an abomination of so-called education, it was brainwashing and abusive and left mental and emotional scars even if not physical scars. Separating young children from their families, even from their siblings was done so that the abuse could be carried out without interference and not likely to be reported by terrorized children. The priests and nuns knew that very well, the church knew that very well. The government looked the other way and tried to give it the respectability of "education".
Why were Canadians in the dark for so long about exactly what was going on in these schools? If ordinary people had known, people like my parents, there is no way they would have condoned that going on. If the government officials had any decency, they would have provided some oversight and stopped the worst of the abuses. The church deliberately hid what was going on in these schools (aside from the "educational" lessons). They knew these children were malnourished and poorly cared for, did not stop the abuse over many decades.
Salistala
Fledgling
Posts: 146
Joined: May 31st, 2018, 9:05 am

Re: Remains of 215 youth found

Post by Salistala »

itwasonlyme wrote: Jun 17th, 2021, 8:49 pm
As for speaking their langauge, yes it was banned, because it was an ILLITERATE LANGAUGE - not written.
Also INNUMERATE - they did not have words for numbers.
There was simply no way to teach anything in Native tongue - the words didn't exist, or numbers.

So, in order to each these children anything, it has to be in ENGLISH and that was enforced, like discipline.

If you call that abusive I guess that's your opinion, and that of many others.

Education is hardly abusive.
Especially for the illiterate.
It should be looked at as a privilege, not an abuse.
This statement assumes an oral language is by its nature inferior to a literate one. Just because it wasn't written down doesn't mean it didn't accomplish its primary function, that is to communicate an idea to an audience. And now we do practice writing we have transcribed our oral vocabulary to a written one, and our languages are no less sophisticated than any other non-english language (did you know english is a minor language spoken by only 4.83% of the world's population?)

The idea that First Nations people were ignorant savages stumbling around the world accidentally surviving on dumb luck for upwards of 15,000 years waiting to be saved by civilized europeans is so completely insulting that it should never be repeated by anyone claiming to be a critical thinker.

And where do you get the idea we didn't have words for numbers? Mnukv, ma'alukv, yudukv, mukv, soaukv; you should be able to figure out what these words mean.

Many here should understand that education doesn't create intelligence, it just reveals a pre-existing capacity for it. There were many competent intelligent First Nations people before contact with skills in accounting, numeracy, medicine, governance, project management, navigation, engineering, inventory management and military tactics. To suggest we needed government to teach us any of that is false and a red herring to distract from the justification of the stated (in plain and consistently repeated language) intention of indoctrinating and suppressing a population resistant to proper colonization.
Salistala
Fledgling
Posts: 146
Joined: May 31st, 2018, 9:05 am

Re: Remains of 215 youth found

Post by Salistala »

rustled wrote: Jun 24th, 2021, 11:26 am
It seems to me that even if the exhumation and examination proves a child suffered from malnutrition or physical trauma, it's unlikely this evidence alone would prove where the child was living when the malnutrition or physical trauma occurred - unless the physical trauma was the immediate cause of death. So people will likely make assumptions about the findings, e.g. that First Nations children were only likely to have suffered from malnutrition or physical trauma while at residential school - and that any physical trauma resulting in death must have been committed by residential school staff.
It seems to me you're walking on thin ice with this statement. It seems to me you're implying this malnutrition and physical abuse happened at home and not in the schools. Intentionally clouding the water to misdirect the investigation away from documented reports of neglect to instead raise a red herring of 'possible' neglect at home. If you're going to make claims like this i would counsel you to provide substantiated evidence or maybe keep this opinion to yourself.

For instance, to support my position that the directors of these institutions didn't really care about the children I would provide these statements that highlight government indifference to the suffering of the children in order to achieve the goals of the 'schools':

“It is readily acknowledged that Indian children lose their natural resistance to illness by habituating so closely in the residential schools, and that they die at a much higher rate than in their villages. But this alone does not justify a change in the policy of this Department, which is geared towards a final solution of our Indian Problem.”
Duncan Campbell Scott

and a letter to the Medical Director of Indian Affairs noted in 1953 that:
“…children are not being fed properly to the extent that they are garbaging around in the barns for food that should only be fed to the barn occupants.”

You repeat over and over that highlighting the negative affects of the 'schools' misses the point that there were positive affects too. This ignores the fact that eliminating the negative affects (malnutrition, abuse, cultural devastation, future dysfunction, etc.) by providing better care for the children in a setting that nurtured instead of abused them would also result in positive outcomes.

'It was a sign of the times!" is also missing the point that there were voices calling for better care at the time. Voices like Dr Peter Bryce Medical Inspector to the Department of the Interior and of Indian Affairs, that at the time consistently called on DCS to provide better care for the ill and malnourished children. For his troubles Bryce was fired and blacklisted, so while you say not everyone treated first Nations poorly; those that did were promoted and those that didn't were silenced.

There are people here saying the higher illness and deaths were also a sign of the times, every child faced the risk of illness. However not every child faced the same level of risk as shown in this graph:
Table B23-34.jpg
This shows that while the death rate of the general Canadian population aged 5-14 declined steadily from the 20's to the 50's, the death rates of children in the Residential School system were consistently 3-5x the national average until the 50's.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
rustled
Buddha of the Board
Posts: 15951
Joined: Dec 26th, 2010, 12:47 pm

Re: Remains of 215 youth found

Post by rustled »

Salistala wrote: Jun 26th, 2021, 2:37 am
rustled wrote: Jun 24th, 2021, 11:26 am
It seems to me that even if the exhumation and examination proves a child suffered from malnutrition or physical trauma, it's unlikely this evidence alone would prove where the child was living when the malnutrition or physical trauma occurred - unless the physical trauma was the immediate cause of death. So people will likely make assumptions about the findings, e.g. that First Nations children were only likely to have suffered from malnutrition or physical trauma while at residential school - and that any physical trauma resulting in death must have been committed by residential school staff.
It seems to me you're walking on thin ice with this statement. It seems to me you're implying this malnutrition and physical abuse happened at home and not in the schools.
I'm quite clearly saying it may have happened at home or at school. We will likely have no way of knowing. It is no more fair or reasonable to assume one than it is the other.
Salistala wrote:Intentionally clouding the water to misdirect the investigation away from documented reports of neglect to instead raise a red herring of 'possible' neglect at home.
Intentionally directing any investigation in one direction, toward a predetermined outcome, is wrong.
Salistala wrote: If you're going to make claims like this i would counsel you to provide substantiated evidence or maybe keep this opinion to yourself.
It's not an "opinion" that children have suffered from malnutrition in their homes. This is true all over the world - why would any reasonable person be expected to believe the First Nations children of Canada did not?
Salistala wrote:For instance, to support my position that the directors of these institutions didn't really care about the children I would provide these statements that highlight government indifference to the suffering of the children in order to achieve the goals of the 'schools':

“It is readily acknowledged that Indian children lose their natural resistance to illness by habituating so closely in the residential schools, and that they die at a much higher rate than in their villages. But this alone does not justify a change in the policy of this Department, which is geared towards a final solution of our Indian Problem.”
Duncan Campbell Scott

and a letter to the Medical Director of Indian Affairs noted in 1953 that:
“…children are not being fed properly to the extent that they are garbaging around in the barns for food that should only be fed to the barn occupants.”
You seem to have assumed people need proof that First Nations children were not immune to the same malnutrition that affected all other populations. Perhaps you're right - perhaps people do believe all First Nations children always had access to adequate nutrition at home.
Salistala wrote:You repeat over and over that highlighting the negative affects of the 'schools' misses the point that there were positive affects too.
This should go without saying. What I've repeated over and over is that we fail truth, reconciliation and the children in these graves by taking a one-sided opinion and shutting down discussion of all but the negatives.
Salistala wrote: This ignores the fact that eliminating the negative affects (malnutrition, abuse, cultural devastation, future dysfunction, etc.) by providing better care for the children in a setting that nurtured instead of abused them would also result in positive outcomes.
I've never suggested we should ignore those negative affects. I've consistently said we should discuss the whole truth.
Salistala wrote:'It was a sign of the times!" is also missing the point that there were voices calling for better care at the time. Voices like Dr Peter Bryce Medical Inspector to the Department of the Interior and of Indian Affairs, that at the time consistently called on DCS to provide better care for the ill and malnourished children. For his troubles Bryce was fired and blacklisted, so while you say not everyone treated first Nations poorly; those that did were promoted and those that didn't were silenced.
I have quoted the Bryce Report in other threads. Along with other documentation and records which provide us with clear evidence there were people fighting the government of the day to force improvements to the residential schools and for First Nations.

No one speaking the truth should be silenced.
Salistala wrote:There are people here saying the higher illness and deaths were also a sign of the times, every child faced the risk of illness. However not every child faced the same level of risk as shown in this graph:

Table B23-34.jpg

This shows that while the death rate of the general Canadian population aged 5-14 declined steadily from the 20's to the 50's, the death rates of children in the Residential School system were consistently 3-5x the national average until the 50's.
The graph does not disprove any of these truths: mortality rates were higher, more children were more severely ill, and the mortality rates were higher in residential schools. What the graph does not prove is why. We can make assumptions or look for the truth. In all likelihood the higher rates were a result of a combination of unfavourable conditions at residential schools juxtaposed against improving conditions (and possibly some genetic protection from recurring European diseases) for children not attending residential schools.

What I'm saying is that we do no good by jumping to conclusions. We see the results in the anger and distrust and re-traumatization and hurt and pain. Some First Nations leaders are calling on us to come together and work our way through this. I'm with them - let's get through this.
Ideology...gives evil-doing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination...[it] is the social theory which helps to make his actions seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes...
-Solzhenitsyn
User avatar
Ken7
Guru
Posts: 8502
Joined: Sep 30th, 2007, 4:09 pm

Re: Graves at Residential schools

Post by Ken7 »

https://regina.ctvnews.ca/catholic-chur ... -1.4450286
Now, many of the graves in the cemetery are unmarked. But according to Lerat it was not always that way.

“All the headstones were removed,” said Lerat. “I know the workers who were working here. They were the ones that picked them all up.”
Interesting when you read through some articles. I think many people have jumped to conclusion. Is there a possibility other graveyards were cleaned up in respect to those who lay to rest?? The memories are damaging to those who lost their loved ones.

I feel more of the story is missing when we reflect back in time....

Return to “Canada”