Madison N.

Bridgewater, Nova Scotia

South Shore Regional School Board

Hidden History of the Past Residential Schools

Residential schools started opening in the late 1800s. Indigenous children from across Canada needed to leave their homes to attend these schools. They suffered abuse while attending these schools and lost their identity. The last school closed in 1996.




What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I thought it was interesting that you had a greater chance of dying while attending residential school than while serving in the Second World War. Six thousand children died while attending residential schools from illnesses, diseases, neglect and malnutrition. Children like Chanie Wenjack died while trying to escape the torture of residential school. This was shocking to me!

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

Many of the issues in the Indigenous community to this day can be traced back to residential schools. Residential schools affected their cultures and traditions. Many of the children also suffered from abuse which has led to problems with relationships and drug abuse.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

Life in today's schools is way better than residential schools of the past. Children of many cultures attend public school together and we learn and accept traditions and values different than our own.