Residential Schools: Government-Sponsored Church Ran Atrocities

This is a fictionalized journal entry based on actual accounts of what happened during the genocide of many in Canadian Residential Schools (1831 – 1996).

August 17, 1897: The Day Before Graduation 

To summarize my time here after being pulled out of my mother’s arms at nine years old, is, if there is a devil, its spirit must be in these people to do what they did. I had no time to grieve after being taken from my mother, my home, my tribe. I was first physically beat by the nuns, priests, and other Europeans to be forced to live in their culture, well my culture was sucked out of me down to my soul through their torturer’s brainwashing techniques. They stole my name and gave me a new English name. I witnessed many of my brothers and sisters die at the whites’ hands, not only of my people, but similar fate was met to those who shared identical identity but who were from various tribes. What I learned most from my experience is people are not that different from one another and that a person’s soul can be easily manipulated by evil.

I learned to read and write from the European (French) culture. Their obedience led us to dress like them in uniform and to do everything we do in unison. The nuns taught me discipline through chores. Those same nuns would beat me with belts, sticks, and other objects near them when their evil eyes took over. When the nun’s eyes were in good spirits, they would teach me prayer, they tried to kill my people’s spirit, but it will never die. When I did get fed, it was food with little taste, as they forced me to eat quickly. Many days they worked me to the brink of death. The Church and government portray a caring place that helps intergrade my people’s children into the new Canadian-Euro world. They are not very structured or consistent. Their evil spirit minds are corrupt by the devil. I see people sexually, physically and verbally abused every day, and many brothers and sisters perished at the whites’ hands.

My Elders tell stories of our ancestors fleeing Peru many moons ago from the diseases the Europeans have left their homeland for to come here. We entered this new disease less land of opportunity with food running and growing in all directions. We came from a place with thriving communities of millions of people, and one-day French explorers brought the disease with them, and within years most of our people died. The Catholics tell many stories of loved ones dying to the plague and fled to our land to escape the diseases many strangleholds. When I was a kid, I was taken from my tribe, as my brothers and sisters were lassoed and drug behind horses out of their communities like hunted game. They cut our hair, dressed us in uniform, brainwashed and abused the Indian out of us to become like the Europeans. How can the Europeans, Church, and Government lead a society when the devil drives their spirit? I learned we are all here for the same reason searching for a new opportunity before the invisible killer destroys us all. There is no diversity. We are all the same ingredient burning in this giant melting pot. I hope one day these people have to go to trial with God as their judge and jury and explain themselves as to why they murdered and abused so many people of a different heritage. 



Gord Downie’s The Secret Path

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