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The Impact of Residential Schools on Canadian Children

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Besides the suffering, the indigenous languages risked becoming extinct because these First Nations children were expected to carry the traditions and languages on to the next generations. The distance didn’t only hurt their relationship with the family but also posed an imminent danger to the traditional values and beliefs of the indigenous people of Canada.These Frist Nations children had not grasped the indigenous languages well enough to speak in foreign residential schools. Consequently, restricting the languages spoken at the residential learning centers to French or English means they would soon forget their original languages. These kids underwent severe punishment and abuse for simple reasons, like speaking their indigenous languages.According to Knockwood (1992, p. 99), some of the survivors of residential schools revealed how they suffered under the care of priests and nun, including punching, verbal abuse, and slapping. Speaking indigenous languages could result in other more severe punishments like sticking a needle through the tongue, or severe beatings. Soon, most students lost grasp of their indigenous languages.According to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2016, p.41), the natives felt isolated, and relationships deteriorated because they were never allowed to speak with their kins. Parents felt like they had betrayed their kids by selling them to foreigners.The guild was devastating because the sisters, brothers were separated for the better part of their lives. Some parents had even resorted to alcohol abuse to console themselves. Amidst the miseries, some family and community members believed the residential schools were suitable for their children. It became hard to communicate with time has the kids forgot their languages while the family or native people could not speak foreign languages.Soon, the family of the kids’ begun to feel isolated and frustrated because they were never in control of their children. The education meant nothing if it could cause a communication barrier between the kids and their families, and other people in society. The separation also meant the First Nations children forgot about the traditional beliefs that were fundamental in society. They also lost track of the myths and rituals that were passed down orally from one generation to the next.The community traditions were at stake because all the effort made to preserve them for over a thousand years was in jeopardy. Worst of all, the elders responsible for educating the youth about culture and traditional beliefs were cut off both by geographically and the language barrier.Over the years, these children lost connection with people and the family under the watch of the traditional elders. The separation also caused desperation among siblings, let alone the First Nations children.According to the native people, they had transformed and were no longer the same. Many people also succumbed to emotional, mental, physical grief, loss of faith in their kids’ wellbeing. For those people who could not withstand the pressure, it caused untold suffering, loss of hope, or even death.Nevertheless, the damage these residential First Nations schools had caused was irreversible. It was the beginning of moral decay and loss of culture Canada people had fought to preserve for many years. It took only a simple irrational decision to cause all the loss of traditions and languages.Today, Canada can only pine their hope of restoring their traditional culture through systematic family education and communal effort. Otherwise, the loss of their kids will haunt them forever, including the loss of the most treasured indigenous languages. Finally, the impact of residential schools on Canadian children can be summed as a loss of a community culture plus its next generations.