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Evaluating the Canadian Governments Apology for Residential Schools for Native American children.

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Introduction

´╗┐Government's Response to Residential Schools ?The Government of Canada sincerely apologizes and asks the forgiveness of the Aboriginal peoples of this country for failing them so profoundly. Nous le regrettons. We are sorry. Nimitatayan. Niminchinowesamin. Mamiattagut.? This is a fragment from Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper?s apology, which was received with mixed emotions. Some were appreciative of this sincere admission of guilt, while others complained that this was not a sufficient apology. Residential schools were designed to assimilate Native American children. Small children were forced to attend school until they were at least sixteen years of age, and were disciplined very harshly. Punishments often got very out of hand, with death tolls of up to 69 percent. Deciding whether or not the Canadian Government has done enough to assist residential school survivors with coping is difficult. ...read more.

Middle

Each of these intergenerational effects are arguable as to the level of involvement that residential schools have had. Take for example teen pregnancy. Teen pregnancy is only 2.1% higher in First Nation's than Caucasian women in Canada as of 2008. The relevancy of residential schools playing a part in this statistic is very strongly deniable, because although parents may not be discussing this issue with their children among native families, the teenagers have been in the same abstinence-promoting school systems as any and all other children in Canada. The Canadian Government has helped to terminate these legacies as best it can without interfering, as aboriginal people need to make a choice to stop abuse on their own. In 1998, the Canadian Government established the Aboriginal Healing Foundation with a grant of $350M, and an additional $125M over the next five years. ...read more.

Conclusion

Of all the Aboriginal leaders that spoke, none of them dared to doubt that the apology was insufficient in any way. In fact, everyone quoted was extremely pleased and overjoyed by this accomplishment. The Canadian Government felt little pressure to apologize as much time has passed since residential schools were abolished, but instead decided on its own to make amends. This is just one of facts demonstrating that the Government has done more than enough to end the sad chapter that is residential schools. The Canadian Government has gone above and beyond the expectations for compensation and reconciliation to victims of residential schools. This has been shown through disputing the intergenerational effects, comparing residential schools to cultural genocide, and examining the formal apology made by Steven Harper. If more government compensation is offered, to what extent will First Nations use it to their overall benefit? http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/resources/fact-sheets.aspx#race http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ai/rqpi/hnh/index-eng.asp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust http://www.claimscon.org/index.asp?url=payments_benefits ...read more.

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