“Shockingly, the churches have failed to honour the dedicated service of most residential school employees, both aboriginal and non-aboriginal. They have failed to defend their own integrity and they have failed to defend the integrity of their innocent employees. They have done little to correct the impression, in the minds of some Canadians, that many residential school supervisors were child abusers and pedophiles.”
“I spent the 1966-67 year as a supervisor in an Anglican residential school, Stringer Hall, in Inuvik, N.W.T. Previously, I spent four months living at Old Sun School, an Anglican residential school, on the Siksika (Blackfoot) Reserve in southern Alberta. Much earlier, my wife (a Siksika) spent eight years at Old Sun, and even earlier, her parents attended the same school for eight years. All of us recognize many of the positive things that happened in residential schools. My wife, in fact, insists on calling Old Sun a “private Anglican school,” my father-in-law was ordained as an Anglican priest, and my mother-in-law worked in the local church for more than 60 years. None of us heard a word — not even a murmur — about children being sexually abused.
“It is now widely acknowledged that some people working in residential schools abused the children under their care. But, no one has acknowledged that some children abused other children. Of course, people who abused others should be charged, and if convicted, they should pay for their crimes. Moreover, administrators from the churches and from Indian and Northern Affairs who covered up these crimes should be charged, convicted, and punished.
“But, before joining the feeding frenzy of lawyers who want to extract billions of dollars from Canadian taxpayers, it may be worthwhile considering some of the positive things that happened in residential schools. Surprisingly, church leaders have rarely mentioned the benefits these schools provided for their students: Continue reading ‘The Positive Side of Residential Schools’