William Gairdner on Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Report regarding Canada’s residential schools:
What is the factual, versus the political truth, about the 3,201 children who were “killed by relentless waves of epidemics” in our residential schools in the 135-year period since the 1880s?… Mr. Clifton attests that residential school staff often “worked around the clock to protect students from such diseases,” and that all Canada’s residential schools had good infirmaries. So, is the number of deaths of native children…really proof of poor care and abuse of those children, as the summary of the Report suggests in morally-judgmental terms? Perhaps not.
Brian Giesbrecht on the Residential Schools Legacy:
The residential schools story is now well known to Canadians.
It is accepted wisdom that residential schools were created to strip aboriginal children of their culture. The children who attended the schools were often physically and sexually abused by their teachers, and returned to their communities as broken people, resulting in the alcohol abuse, domestic violence and general social breakdown that plague so many aboriginal communities today. That story is accepted with few questions from the media, and now taught in our schools.
In the first place, the numbers simply do not support it.
This is consistent with documents I have read from the 1800’s. One such document was a first person account of the travels of an Anglican priest through Southern Ontario. The priest documented that some Native American tribes asked to convert to Christianity because they had concluded that the Christian God was much more powerful than their gods given how advanced the “white man” was. These tribes also voluntarily sent their children to residential boarding schools where they could be educated in the “white man’s” ways. Some of the children did succumb to illnesses at those schools, but they were not deliberately infected or maltreated. The priest’s own daughter died at one point in his journeys. Given the prevailing political truth of these days, since the priest’s own daughter died, was she abused and poorly cared for, too?
[Note: I have misplaced the citation for this book, but when I find it I will post it]