Originally posted by theknuckler
Being an aboriginal myself, I do not even hear much about this. I'm too young to have attended the mandated schools, but to think my ancestors HAD to
is quite disturbing. My grandparents are not around anymore, and they passed away when I was young so I never heard anything about it. I'm interested
in knowing more and am going to watch that video.
Knuckler, I'll address this post to you and hopefully other readers can benefit from it. Here's my experience with native children in Catholic
schools. First of all, the years I'm going to talk about were 1966-67. I was 17 years old in 1966 and this all occurred in Alberta. Here we go:
Our family lived in an average to nice, very clean but very small home. My parents were working steadily but were still struggling with just keeping
food on the table. My mother was secretary at the Catholic school we attended and I think that's how she found out that she could earn extra income
if we would provide "room and board" to 2 or 3 young aboriginal boys. The purpose of this was so that they could attend the same school that my
brothers and I went to. So they stayed with us during the school week and on Friday night, they were picked up by their parents and returned to their
home for the weekend. Just to be perfectly upfront about this... back in those days we called them Indians and that term was accepted as the norm.
We never even heard of the idea of calling them "native" or "aboriginal". Of course the term "indian" was not meant to be disparaging or
insulting... it was just the norm back then.
My 2 brothers and I were not particularly happy to have "strangers" living and dining with us, not because we didn't like natives, but because our
home was already too small for us. On the contrary, all 4 of us (my 2 brothers, one sister and myself) were all born in a very small Alberta town
that had 2 native reserves nearby. So as very young children, we met and really enjoyed the company of native children our own age. So we had good
experiences with native kids.
But here's the part of the story than always seemed strange to me and maybe now I'm only starting to learn why. There were never native girls who
stayed with us, I suppose because our home was already full of teenage boys. That part's not the strange part. Our sister had moved out already to
attend university. The stranger part of this goes like this: while these 2-3 native boys were dining with us, my brothers and I always tried to
invite them into our conversations and we tried to entertain them with our humor. We tried everything to make them feel more at home. My brothers
and myself are naturally friendly, so we went out of our way to try to make these native guys feel welcome. But they were very shy, very quiet and
very polite. But they just wouldn't talk with us, no matter how hard we tried. Over a period of 2 years, we just couldn't get them to engage in
conversation. We just assumed they were incredibly shy.
In retrospect, I'm wondering if it was because they were "sad". I never even thought to ask "why" they would want to come into the city and
attend a Catholic school. I had absolutely no idea that our government was at work doing something that might have had a darker agenda. If so, it's
something that we couldn't possibly have known about. But recently I heard Alex Jones talking about how even the Canadian government (who I always
thought was squeaky clean) had been guilty of practicing various forms of eugenics at the expense of natives. I'm constantly amazed at how much Alex
Jones knows. But it turns out, as usual he was correct.
So inadvertently, in an attempt to earn an extra $40 per month per child, my mother and our family might have been playing right into the hands of the
dark lords and didn't even know it. Today, I'd love to hear the story from the perspective of those young men who stayed with us.
I can say that during their entire stay with us (2 years), they were well fed and well treated at our home and they were well treated at school and I
believe they were successful at their studies. I can also say that these native kids were actually very popular at school and were not picked on by
their peers. In fact, the entire 'white' student body of the school felt like it was our duty to welcome the native children and we were glad to do
it. The general attitude was that we would even protect them if necessary, but no danger ever came to them that I'm aware of. So from my
perspective, I could see no harm being done to them at all.
But I'll always wonder if somehow we were contributing to something we shouldn't have been. Maybe these kids were being "forced" out of their
homes to attend school in the city? If that's the case... that's absolutely horrible and unacceptable. But from our angle, we thought we were
doing something good and treated them very well. To be honest, if our government was guilty of atrocities that to this day I'm only scratching the
surface of.... I'm embarrassed and ashamed of Canada for the first time in my life.
That's all I have to offer, but hopefully it fits as a piece of a bigger puzzle somehow.