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The Effects of residential schools on native child-rearing patterns 1990

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U.B.C. LIBRARIES EFFECTS OF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS ON NATIVE CHILD-REARING PATTERNS by N. Rosalyn Ing Bachelor of Social Work, The University of British Columbia, 1988 A MAJOR PAPER SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF EDUCATION in the DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATIVE, ADULT, AND HIGHER EDUCATION (EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION) Ts'*kel Program We accept this majpr paper as confgrming to the required standard: The University of British Columbia April 1990 ABSTRACT This paper examined the apparent effects of residential schools on the child-rearing patterns of Natives who attended these schools. Evidence came from the literature and from three interviews with persons who attended residential schools—one male elder and two females, who answered four open-ended questions. The findings suggest that this type of educational experience caused psychological and cultural losses in self-esteem, child-rearing patterns, and Native Indian language. New and different behaviours be learned by the children in middle childhood to cope and exist in a parentless environment where no feelings of love or care were demonstrated by the caretakers and the speaking of Cree and other Native languages was forbidden. Values and skills taught by Native parents/elders, and essential for survival in Native society, lost their importance in residential schools; the Native language was not taught to subsequent generations; and the separation of siblings by sex and age created strangers in families. These experiences will presumably be transmitted in some form to the next generation, thereby affecting the way Natives view themselves. To restore confidence in themselves and respect for essential patterns of child-rearing the process of healing is vital and recommended. iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS To the Creator, who helped me reach my education goal, I give you the glory and I thank you for: My father, John Young, for his wisdom, role modelling, humbleness, and support. He lives through his children; he wants them to be givers and to know that there is something in the world that they can do and not to sit back and let everyone do it; my brothers and sisters of the residential schools, including my own family, who succeeded despite the system; my advisors, Professors Verna J. Kirkness and Ian Housego, for their knowledge and encouragement. Verna, "Nee-to-tem, tap-way-kee-chee"; and most of all, my beloved family, George, Greg, and Ted Ing, for their patience, unfailing confidence, love, and enlightenment. DEDICATION This work is dedicated to the person who made all the difference in her family's life, my sister, ELIZABETH FLORA YOUNG TABLE OF CONTENTS iv Page ABSTRACT ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iii TABLE OF CONTENTS . . . iv LIST OF TABLES. vi Chapter One INTRODUCTION....... 1 THE DISINTEGRATION OF TRADITIONAL NATIVE FAMILIES... 4 EFFECTS OF SEPARATION ON YOUNG CHILDREN. ... 9 ESTABLISHING THE ANGLICAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SYSTEM. ......... . . 12 Assimilation through Education 14 The Hidden Curriculum................ 15 The Curriculum's Latent Effects 16 The Ban Against the -Native Indian Language... 18 THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE... ... 19 THE ROLE OF THE ELDERS 22 The Oral Transmission of Child-rearing Patterns and Values. 24 The Kinship and Extended Family Network........... 28 EFFECTS OF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS ON CHILD-REARING PATTERNS. 30 SUMMARY 33 Chapter 2 PURPOSE, DEFINITION OF TERMS, DESIGN, AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY ......... 35 Purpose 35 Definition of Terms. 36 Study Design .. .. 38 Significance of the Study 39 Chapter 3 REPORTING THE FINDINGS.. 42 INTRODUCTION..... 42 FINDINGS FROM THE LITERATURE REVIEW 43 V FINDINGS FROM THE INTERVIEWS. 47 Question 1 Family Relationships 48 Robert.. 48 Beverly . 50 Salina . 50 Summary.. . 52 Question 2 Confusion Due to Acculteration. 54 Robert. . . 54 Beverly 56 Salina................... 57 Summary..... 57 Question 3 Reserve/Residential School Language Experiences 60 Robert.................... 60 Beverly......................... 61 Salina.... 62 Summary 62 Question 4 Effects of Residential Schools on Native Child-rearing Patterns.. 65 Robert 65 Beverly............ 66 Salina. 67 Summary 69 Chapter 4 SUMMARY FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND CONCLUSIONS 73 SUMMARY FINDINGS 73 RECOMMENDATIONS 80 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY........... 82 Further Research 83 CONCLUSION . . 84 REFERENCES.. 88 APPENDICES... 96 Appendix A: Interview with Robert.... 97 Appendix B: Interview with Beverly... 114 Appendix C: Interview with Salina.... 124 LIST OF TABLES vi Table 3.1 FAMILY REMEMBRANCES. 53 3.2 CONFUSION DUE TO ACCULTERATI ON 59 3.3 RESERVE AND RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL LANGUAGE EXPERIENCES......... 63 3.4 EFFECTS OF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL ON CHILD-REARING PATTERNS. 71 Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION In organizing recently for a Native parenting program with a major Native organization in Vancouver, I conducted workshops that emphasized Native culture and values. Some topics addressed were discrimination, self-esteem, traditional Native parenting and its benefits, plus some background lectures on the law and why the Ministry of Social Services and Housing (MSSH) apprehends children. At each session some aspect of Native culture was discussed because I felt it was important to help Native people begin seeking alternative ways of parenting which were more suited to their values and culture. I expressed my concern that too many Native children were in care with MSSH, and it was incumbent upon us to help each other to prevent this in the future through re-learning lost child-rearing patterns. The discussions on child apprehension of Native children focused on the conflicts related to values and standards used to evaluate Native parenting patterns by the dominant society. One of the major issues which constantly surfaced at the workshops was the experience of Native people at residential schools where most received their education. Many who risked speaking about it were full of resentment 1 and anger. They could not understand why such a thing had to happen to them and their families. At one workshop I conducted on self-esteem, I said that self-esteem was the core of personality in a human being, and it was vital to build it up in our children. A man spoke up and said, "If self-esteem is so important, why did they do everything to damage it at residential school?" Drawing on personal experience, I analyzed a phase of my own life when I had dealt with my childhood at residential schools. I lived at three. I had been able to put these experiences in perspective and had worked through a resolution. The major task I accomplished was the renewal of my pride in my "Indianness" which I believe had been stripped away through the education process that I received at the schools. Remembering the teachings of my grandparents and parents I discovered that the pride in my race and culture was present, but on the surface was the fear of exhibiting it. I rationalized that this had to be the residue of residential school life where the emphasis was that anything to do with Indian ways were bad, pagan, or f "savage". Like most of the pupils who left these institutions, I had low self-esteem, I did not value education, I did not respect my heritage and family, and I suffered from inferiority complex. I had never made a decision for myself, I was highly dependent on authority figures, I was distant, pathetically shy, and silent. I grew up in a parent-less world. I knew I was unable to learn in that environment. These negative side effects of an education prevented me from reaching my potential until a resolution and a healing was effected. My examination of my own situation leads me to suggest that parental support and the emphasis on tradition and culture, and the vital need to retain language (Cree) were critical in the final resolution. Unfortunately, many Native languages became extinct (Duff, 1964:15) as a result of the residential school education system, and with this loss, a vital part of family life appears to have been changed or destroyed. This paper will examine the questions of how the experience of living in residential schools appears to be associated with this impact on traditional family life practices. 4 THE DISINTEGRATION OF TRADITIONAL NATIVE FAMILIES ...[A]t its root acculturation is a process of personality reorganization for adaptation to changed cultural conditions. Having once undergone this process, the individual is never the same and often encounters a conflict between old and new value systems that can be devastating. Harry A. Kersey, Jr.,(1980:180). , • » Between 1860 and 1970 the Native children of Canada were educated separately from Euro-Canadians in institutions referred to as * residential schools'. From about age three (Redford, 1979:46) to age sixteen or eighteen (Barman, Hebert, and McCaskill, 1986:11, Manuel and Posluns, 1974:71, Ahenakew, 1973:132,and Jenness, 1983:162) the children were removed from their homes, many forcibly, and placed in these boarding schools, where they stayed from September until June each year. Unfortunately, some did not return home. During this annual ten month period they were isolated from their parents and from the rest of Canadian society (McKenzie and Hudson, 1985:130). The government's stated purpose of this policy was assimilation of the Native people into the dominant society. The government felt it could implement this policy in a restrictive manner if the children were completely removed from the influence of their parents and communities (Tobias, 1983:48). Thus, not only were Native children educated separately from the dominant society, they were also educated away from their own culture. In this setting, isolated culturally and geographically, the task of the residential school system was ensured. The task was the systematic, formalized transmission of the dominant society's values, skills, culture, religion, and language. To ensure English language acquisition, the speaking of any Native language was forbidden, and punished by corporal punishment. All aspects of the Native child's life were regulated and monitored from morning to night by their caretakers to ensure compliance of this rule. The caretakers were the missionaries, priests, and nuns of the Protestant and Catholic churches who, for the most part, administered the schools for the government. Thus, it was intended to "civilize" the Natives by Christianizing them and transforming the children into good, English-speaking, and law-abiding Canadians (Cronin, 1960:215). In the book, The Spirit Weeps. Martens, Daily, and Hodgson state that currently, this residential school experience has emerged as an area of concern and significance for many Native people. The practice of separating children from their parents and their way of life had a drastic impact on almost all Indian families. The structure, cohesion and quality of family life suffered. Parenting skills diminished as succeeding generations became more and more institutionalized and experienced little nurturing. Low self-esteem and self-concept problems arose as children were taught that their own culture was inferior and uncivilized, even "savage" (Martens, et al, 1988:110). These are some of the consequences that have had an impact on the family. McKenzie and Hudson confirm that "this practice of separating children from parents and the parenting role model is singularly responsible for many of the problems related to child care now found among native parents" (1985:130). A legal expert in child welfare, MacDonald, has suggested that "the causes of the widespread breakdown in Indian family life are complex" (1985:252) but I believe that whether they attended these schools or not, Native people are all affected in some way. Those who attended residential schools find it extremely painful and avoid introspection of this highly, emotionally-burdensome, and damaging experience; and those who did not attend are indirectly affected because they cannot understand why an educational experience could leave such bitter emotional scars. A person speaking at The National Inquiry into First Nations Child Care talked about the history of broken dreams and broken promises that has contributed to family breakdown. We have parents who are bitter, and are passing their own bitterness on to their children. This vicious cycle has to stop (L. Prince,1989:133). This generation of young Natives is the first generation that did not attend residential schools; but because their parents and grandparents attended, they are deeply affected by the wounds and bitter memories of early childhood experiences. Three generations of breaking up Native families have severely undermined the role of the extended f • I family and kinship networks, causing that structure to break down, or in most cases, be destroyed. Dakota Elder Eva McKay of Sioux Valley, Manitoba, said at the same inquiry It's true that the residential school life has altered the traditional way of our people and was the beginning of the breaking up of traditional family life. We came out confused...and the hurt that we did not bring out but hid within us became a reality later in life...(ibid. p.59). An encouraging phenomenon is that some Native children managed to live through the experience and emerged relatively unscarred by it. Johnston, commenting proudly on his graduation from the residential school he attended writes, "We toughed it out, didn't we? They couldn't break us down" (1988:243). Miller also wrote of several influential Native leaders who emerged from the ashes of their education. Names such as George Manuel, Ahab Spence, Harold Cardinal, and Frank Calder are familiar names and respected by both Native and non-Native populations. "Many of these people had been deeply marked by their school experience, some traumatically. But they had also acquired sufficient skills to emerge as effective leaders..." (Miller, 1987:10). Professionals in health care cannot explain why two people subjected to the same experience emerge from it differently. The wonder is that some had the strength to survive, others broke down under the system, and some paid with their lives. Unfortunately, for most Native children it was a devastating encounter that attacked a person's cultural heritage. Suppressing Native languages under the threat of corporal punishment (a strap) produced a psychological trauma? therefore, it should not astound one if the topic is emotional, because it was a latent way of destroying one's sense of self and ego (Medicine, 1988). Thus, those who emerged without visible psychological damage still had no choice in rejecting their heritage, language, and culture. It was forced relinquishment of something valuable that is difficult, if not impossible, to regain. The younger the child was, the easier it was to lose or give up this culture through loss of language, and the harder it was on the child's adjustment. What follows in the next part of this chapter is a discussion of the irreparable harm of separation of Native children from care-givers and families at such a young age. 9 EFFECTS OF SEPARATION ON YOUNG CHILDREN An outspoken critic of residential schooling for young Indian children in the United States, Dr. Robert Leon, warned against separation of young children from their families. He said: The damage caused to the child by his/her separation is directly related to the child's age and the length of time that he is separated from the parents. There is no serious irreversible damage which can occur to the adolescent as a result of separation from his/her parents. Separation can, however, produce some serious effects on...those children age five to eight...and show many emotional symptoms which may or may not be irreversible (Fuchs and Havighurst, 1972:231-232). This may partially explain why some emerged relatively unscarred. Age was in their favour. Some Native children were removed from their families on reserves as early as age three, but most by age five and six. Erikson, a psychologist, who studied Sioux children in the United States, wrote that by this time [age] an Indian child has acquired a feeling of security and affection in the family (1963:158). The early development of the child is watched by adults with amusement and patience. There is no hurrying along the path of walking or talking. On the other hand, there is no baby talk. The language usually taught first is the old Indian one:..." (1963:157). In this setting a "basic trust" (Erikson, 1963:247) has been firmly established with one's biological parents, and other care-givers, which include grandparents, uncles, and aunts. To be suddenly removed from a secure and caring environment where one has been raised in one's own language, and forcibly transported to an alien atmosphere and unfamiliar language, is certainly a traumatic experience for any child. J. Ryan, wrote of this residential school experience as disruptive for this time of development because: The basic trust in one's origins which Erikson states is vital to establishing a firm sense of one's self could not develop in children who were raised in residential school because those origins were attacked and invalidated (1973:230). Johnston, writing of his residential school days, observed some youngsters this age (five and six) and affectionately referred to them as "the babies". Apparently newly-recruited priests were given, the responsibility for caring for these young boys. Johnston poignantly describes them like "...chicks...cheeping "Father! Father! Father!" and following him around wherever he went. They were a sad lot, this little crowd of babies? they seldom laughed or smiled and often cried and whimpered during the day and at night. Having no one in this world, in this institution, except this young scholastic to look to, to call for, to touch, to hold, these little waifs were even more wretched than we were. If they weren't huddled around the young scholastic's knee, they were hunched in their wretchedness and misery in a corner of the recreation hall, their outsized boots dangling several inches above the asphalt floor. And though... carvers made toys for them, the babies didn't play with their cars and boats; they just held on to them, hugged them and took them to bed at night, for that was all they had in the world when the lights went out, and they dared not let it go. On occasion the older boys acted as guardians or as big brothers to these cast-offs, holding their hands and comforting them with, "What's wrong?" "Don't cry," "It's going to be all right." But the burden of care for these babies fell on the young scholastics, who had a much more fatherly air than the senior boys..." (1988:60). The United States of America (U.S.A.) pursued the same policy of education coupled with the goal of assimilation (Unger, 1977). In 1928, the harmful effects of boarding schools on Indian family life was made public in the Meriam Report. The report condemned the practice of removing children from families because it "operated against the development of wholesome family life" (Unger, 1977:14). Taking small children from their parents, and keeping them away from their influence, caused "parents and children to become strangers to each other" (Unger,1977:16). Furthermore, the effects of this early deprivation of family life was apparent in the children as they were "the victims of an arrested development" (1977:16). Unger explains this arrested development caused by separation as regressive and harmful since initiative and independence are not developed under the rigid routine of the school, the whole system increases the child's sentiment for dependence on parental decisions and children in their teens go back to their mother with a six year old's feeling for her 1977:17). In Canada it was government policy to remove young children from their parents and reserves (Miller, 1987:4,5, Haig- Brown, 1988, More, 1985, Manuel and Posluns, 1974, Ashworth, 1979, Barman, Hebert and McCaskill, 1986, and Dawson, 1987). How could such a policy have been conceived and what was the rationale for it? The next section discusses the role of the government and the churches in this educational encounter of Native children. ESTABLISHING THE ANGLICAN RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SYSTEM One of the first industrial schools founded by the Anglican Church was the Shingwauk Indian Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in 1873 (Nock, 1988:92). The founder of this school, Edward F. Wilson, English, Anglican, missionary, later became an anthropologist and ethnoloqist. Of the school, he said it represented''... .the great experiment of...carrying out a program of cultural replacement and assimilation" (Nock, 1988:74) that was willingly supported, philosophically and financially, by the government of the Dominion of Canada. Shingwauk Residential School served as a model for the other schools, in that "a rigid work schedule, limited socialization, firm discipline and forced adherence to the teachers' guidance character[iz]ed school life" (Coates, 1984-85:35). Wilson shared the same presumption that prevailed at the time, that people who shared a different culture were somehow inferior. He considered the older generation of Native parents beyond redemption, referring to them as "the old unimprovable people"(Nock, 1988:74), and he actually looked forward to the day when "the old people will die off" and "be replaced by their civilized children" (Nock, 1988:74). It is not surprising then that with such an opinion of the older generation that schools were set up in isolation, away from the influence of "the old unimprovable people". Surrogate parents would be provided in the form of schoolmasters, and the schools would provide what these schoolmasters considered lacking in Native children's homes and environment. This fear of the older generation was an idiosyncrasy shared in government by Duncan Campbell Scott, the Indian Affairs Administrator in 1874, who wrote, "The danger was recognized that they [the children] might relapse to the level of reserve life as soon as they came into contact with their parents" (Nock, 1988:74-75). These were the premises on which the school was founded, and the aim was, sometime in the future, "to ensure the ihdians would amalgamate with the whites and adopt Anglo-Canadian culture" (Nock,1988:76). This government- favoured Indian educational institution, the residential school, guaranteed virtual 100 percent attendance but most important...these schools effectively isolated the children from the pagan and allegedly uncivilized environment of "their native culture. The schools were unimpeded in theirvefforts towards integrating the children completely into the dominant white society (Chalmers,1983:28). Consequently, the curriculum developed was to be "one of almost complete cultural replacement..."(Nock,1988:72) and the Native Indian language became the key object of attack in the residential schools (Nock, 1988, and Haig-Brown, 1988). Tobias, reviewing the assimilation process wrote that "Education of the Indian child was a keystone of the civilizing process" (Getty and Lussier, 1983:48) and the Tndian Act was amended in 1894 to "commit children to the boarding and industrial schools founded by the government" (Getty and Lussier, 1983:48). This commitment of Native children to residential schools was legalized through the Tndian Act. Thus, the assimilation process to civilizing Natives through education became entrenched in Canadian society, and it is discussed next. Assimilation Through Education Education became "an essential tool of assimilation" (Ponting, 1986:27, Barman, et al, 1987, Frideres, 1978) and the curriculum was one that was sanctioned by the government (Nock, 1988:79). The curriculum, then, served the existing order, but the content was foreign to the Native children who depended on informally observing and imitating their parents and other elders for their training and education (Redford, 1979-80:43). An intentional outcome was to produce "children who would be interchangeable with white children except for colour" (Nock, 1988:79). The next section reveals some of the discretionary aspects of the missionary curriculum. The Hidden Curriculum Curriculum, in its most traditional sense, refers to the content of subject matter presented to learners (Fuchs and Havighurst, 1973). In discussing the role curriculum played in the decision of how to set up the education of Native pupils, two key factors emerged: First, the view that "the Indians possessed no culture or civilization to speak of or worth preserving" (Nock, 1988:77); and second, the" verSnhigh"potentia1 of resocialization of the children (1988:77). Robertson, a sociologist, defines resocialization as "socialization that constitutes a sharp break with past experience and involves the internalization of radically different norms and values" (1977:567). These two premises, lack of a worthy culture or civilization and resocialization of the children, envisioned the Native child "as one who would readily shed and bury his aboriginal customs and ideas and acquire the idea and habits of the white men (Nock,1988:77). The aboriginal customs included the traditional dances, games, religion, and native crafts. The above was later backed up by the legislative process which amended the Indian Act in 1884 to make potlatch, and other Native ceremonies and rituals illegal (Tobias, 1983:47). In designing a curriculum and its purpose McNeil suggests that some desired outcomes are hidden because some intentional outcomes from schooling are not formally recognized; these are unofficial instructional influences, which may either support or weaken the attainment of manifest goals (McNeil, 1977:209). It's important to consider that education has a function of a latent type as well (Merton, 1968) because in residential schools, "functions that are not generally recognized and were never intended" (Robertson, 1977:353) surfaced in the 1960s. The Curriculum's Latent Effects By the 1960s a generation of Native parents who were ^ not given the choice of raising their children began to show signs of "abrogating their responsibility as parents" (Caldwell, 1967:21). The researcher indicted that a pattern of expectation had developed among "some Indian parents that the residential school system provided a...carefree way" ^ (Caldwell, 1967:21) of living without children. This research study of the child-care programs at nine Saskatchewan residential schools raised the question of whether the "current generation of residential school students" has the "ability to cope more adequately with the responsibility of parenthood than the preceding generation" (Caldwell, 1967:21). Haig-Brown, in her book on the Kamioops Indian Residential School, wrote of a student who commented that "The residential school took away the responsibility of the parents because the parents didn't see the kids all year" (1988:111). This issue on parenting is an important one. It has not been explored from the vantage point of how residential school education interfered with this process in Native culture. Haig-Brown emphasized the lack of positive role models because "Children learn parenting skills by the way they are parented" (1988:111) and for many Native children who spent ten years or more at residential schools, one must conclude that these children "had limited experience as family members" (1988:111). Furthermore, Haig-Brown stressed that: In the same way that their language use is based on the knowledge they gained before going to school, so their parenting skills must draw on that limited experience (1988:111). A witness at The National Inquiry into First Nations Child Care reluctantly conceded that "What was once taken for granted is now almost extinct" (1989:111) as she referred to the traditional way of training Native children. The effects of the hidden curriculum at Indian residential schools latently brought on the decline of the traditional child care patterns of Native parents. Language is an important variable in this evolution and it is stressed because language is fundamentally linked to culture. The emphasis on eradicating the language at residential schools is discussed in the following section. The Ban Against the Native Indian Language In the residential schools demands for fluency in English were mandated "to spell the death of the Indian language!'. (Nock,1988:77). The speaking of "Indian" was forbidden; and when children were caught, they were severely punished. This ban against the Indian language was enforced at Shingwauk until 1971 (Nock, 1988:79). Concurrently, this ban existed in every residential school that was established in Canada (More, 1985; Haig-Brown,1988; Miller, 1987; Barman, et al, 1986; Ashworth, 1979; and Manuel and Posluns, 1974). Haig-Brown conducted one of the first studies of residential schools through the interpretation of Native persons who attended (1988). She criticized this action of b a r m i t i v e language because, " [ t ]hr^^h^-f-faftsto~~prg very base of culture was attacked" (1988:31). The significance of language and culture will be addressed in the following section. THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE One of the reasons this paper is being written is to help promote healing for those who suffered through this experience. For healing to begin Native people have to be given an understanding of what went on in the past. Because the object of attack in the residential schools was the language, it is necessary to emphasize that the foundation o£JKati;^_jcailture_is its oral^tradition^and how the^loss or near loss of the language has affected the traditional way jof^lifej. In a benchmark study in 1985 More interviewed an elder who said about Native culture and loss of language: The Native culture has almost been totally lost along with the loss of our language. You see, the language seems to be what holds the Native culture together...I went to school and we were not allowed to speak Indian (More, 1985:120). The importance of this connection between language and the traditional way of life is stressed by Diamond because the Native needs his traditional way of life as a backdrop and as a basis upon which to grow. Combined with this is the need for other tools, such as Native languages and traditional institutions, which are essential for proper development and growth (Barman, et al, 1987:86). The family as a group is a traditional Native institution. Before jthe ̂ rrival of white Europeans, the Indian families in Canada were in harmony with nature and their _Cr^ator^__They had developed a rich and homogeneous culture, suitable__to their needs? they were capable of sustaining their family and community in a social and economic environment; and compared to European cultures, the Indian families were as cultured, productive, intelligent, and devoutly spiritual (Friesen, 1985). Ashworth noted "the old Indian societies were organized and integrated, each had a strong value system, each had come to terms with its environment" (1979:4). Jenness recorded "The old order changed completely with the coming of Europeans" (1932:254). The Indians welcomed the white men and helped them. Unhappily, within only a century of contact between the original inhabitants of this land and white Europeans, these cultural traditions that had withstood the passing of time, became devalued, altered, and nearly eroded (Duff, 1964, Fisher, 1977, and Friesen, 1985). These traditions enabled Native nations to exist and co-exist by sharing and caring for the land with others, including those in the spiritual and animal realm. These centuries-old traditions that allowed this co-existence required a perfect balance between man's understanding of nature and his actions or behaviours (Barman, et al, 1987:156). This culture group did not create the written word. Its legitimacy and history were maintained and preserved by the oral tradition. Potent symbols came to represent the spiritual, human, and animal realm. Besides the potency that these symbols represented in the culture, the oral tradition made the values, customs, beliefs, and language convincing and forcible. Before contact with Europeans the cultural traditions were maintained and passed down through the generations orally. Blondin states that "...Native languages...provided the means of survival of the people. The elders, leaders, and women passed on the teachings and a sense of continuity" (1988:17). Therefore, language enabled Native nations and their children to have access to whatever accumulated knowledge and experience these generations had preserved. Language is a human activity as it distinguishes who we are, and how we think of ourselves. "Language is applied to the general pattern of a people or race" (The American College Dictionary, 1956:686), and is "any set or system of such symbols as used in a more or less uniform fashion by a number of people, who are thus enabled to communicate intelligibly with one another" (1956:685). Language is inseparable from culture; in fact, "it is the keystone of culture" (Robertson, 1977:70). „ Culture is "the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings, which is transmitted from one generation to generation" (The American College Dictionary, 1956:295). Culture is how we live. Language enables human beings to preserve their history; it is fundamental to culture because it permits the transmission of culture. But, as Wilson pointed out, "...since culture is an integrated whole, a change in one aspect produces indirect changes in others" (1965:75). Therefore, if language is 22 manipulated, culture is affected. In pre-contact a group of highly respected and influential persons were entrusted with the responsibility of preserving the culture through language. Their role is discussed next. THE ROLE OF THE ELDERS In an oral culture language is the mechanism for transmitting and preserving knowledge. The role of transmitting and preserving this knowledge falls on the elders. Blondin describes elders in an oral culture as libraries...their knowledge, their skills, attitudes, and their experience constitute the record of the knowledge and wisdom of the people. Their memories serve as the collective knowledge and wisdom. Education is the process of communicating this knowledge and wisdom, through oral language, actions, and behaviour (1988:3). At the same time, Blondin stresses learning occurs constantly in a Native's life, but "that learning process has always been shaped by the oral nature of the culture" (1988:3) and that "it is related to identity. Speaking your language strengthens your identity, and in that way strengthens and maintains the collective culture..." (1988:34). The importance of the link between teaching and leaFning'^Eo "strengthening your identity is demonstrated in the ways discipline was enforced and character was built 23 through story-telling and legends. The elders played a vital role in passing on the traditional teachings and making known to the people the laws of living. Children and young adults alike looked to their parents and elders for guidance and instruction, appreciating that knowledge and experience they had gained from living through many seasons... (Malloch, 1984:10). A common identity was passed on and maintained with the instilling of pride in the culture through this process. This, in turn, inspired nurturing and responsibility toward the children because the elders were the most respected teachers. Important things such as values and higher levels of knowledge about history and environment were told_jthrough their stories and_private__gQnversations with-cJiildren. The elders also" undertook a major responsibility in preparing the younger generation for specialized roles (Archibald, 1984:7). Today a broken link exists in the chain of the oral tradition. The loss and near-loss of some Native languages through the residential school system has created discontinuity to this chain of oral tradition. The elders, in their role as preserver of language and culture, and teachers have lost touch with some of their children; and consequently, subsequent generations have lost many of the old beliefs and old ways. The break in the chain of oraLJtx^dijt_iorL..was^ caused by the forced interception of residential schools between the y generations. As a result of this interception, More concluded that the traditional Native Indian languages, values, beliefs, and customs were not systematically taught to the next generations. These four primary composites of 24 any culture began to die in the Native Indian cultures (1985:4). The vital role that the elders played in this oral tradition included the responsibility to instruct and provide guidance and vision for the task of child-rearing. The Oral Transmission of Child-Rearing Patterns and Values The question arises of who determines what are the child-rearing patterns of Native people. Dr. Ronald S. Fischler, of the University of Arizona Family Medicine and Pediatrics Faculty, declared that "an in-depth psychiatric study of American Indian parenting has not yet been made" (1980:343). However, Blanchard, an American Indian Social Worker and Community Development Specialist, repudiates Fischler's belief. Blanchard asserts that much is known on child-rearing patterns "among American Indians. American Indians have this knowledge"(1980:352). Blanchard's position is that this knowledge on child-rearing patterns need not be researched and interpreted through university and college studies, or through "the non-Indian perspective before it can benefit American Indian families" (1980:352). Medicine, in My Elders Tell Mef gives credit to certain individuals who "by virtue of qualifications and knowledge, are recognized by the Indian communities as the ultimately qualified reservoirs of aboriginal skills" (Barman, et al, 1987:144). These individuals are the elders, and child- 25 rearing patterns are aboriginal skills. For some years now elders have failed to inspire some of the young generations with vision, integrity, and respect for the old ways. Manuel and Posluns blame the education system because "it was the kids coming back from residential school who brought the generation gap with,them" (1974:67). No where is this more noticeable than in the family structure. Medicine, in My Elders Tell Me. accounts how the removal of children into...residential schools in Canada... broke intergenerational ties which guaranteed the cultural continuity...This dispersal of members of an Indian family effectively eliminated Native forms and norms of the informal learning process" (Barman, et al, 1987:144). Another writer, Cross, states that "Belief systems in child-rearing_ patterns and values were passed .from, one generation t o t h e n e x t orally" (1986:285). The oral tradition was a significant aspect of Native culture in regard to children. Cross attributes the practice of prohibiting the use of Native languages in residential schools to reducing "the strength of the oral tradition and consequently weakened the children's connection with their culture. Traditional child-rearing practices and attitudes were thus forgotten" (1986:286) or were c by some of the returning pupils from the schools. Communities or tribes found their children changed in terms of values. Children were confused. Instead of completely acquiring the values, skills, language, culture, and religion of the dominant society, the system created conflicts between parents and children. In an article written about the Anglican Church and a residential school, Coates commented that communication broke down and conflicts were inevitable as "most of the children found themselves trapped upon returning to their homes, torn between school values and the realities of" (1984-85T42T43) their home_JLife. Those most affected by the' painful transition of school and home life were "those who had assimilated substantial portions of their teacher's message" (1984-85:43). A major institution in Native life is the family. Without the respect due for a continuation of a culture through language the family's survival is weakened. Over a period of time some pupils coming out of residential schools began to display the effects of their , education as they assumed their role as parents. Some indicators such as lack of confidence and lack of awarenessi in child-rearing emerged. A former administrator in a i community clinic, Atteneave, was puzzled by the actions of \ some American Indian clients. Former boarding school parents came to the clinic seeking placements in boarding schools for their eight and nine year old children. She conceded that the parents knew of no other alternative because raising children at home, for them, had become a mystery. She recollects that: Neither they nor their own parents had ever known life in a family from the age they first entered school. The parents had no memories and no patterns to follow in rearing children except for the regimentation of 27 mass sleeping and impersonal schedules (Unger,1977:30). In the midst of the artificial, regimental, and English-speaking environment that young Natives matured in, elders on the outside were preserving rituals and traditions by maintaining the Native language; as the residential school system sought to destroy the culture and the language of the Native people the elders did not give up (Medicine,1987). Alex Bonais, a Cree elder in the film, I Am an Indian: The Circle of Leadership, expressed his fear eloquently. He laments about how his children are being taken from him through loss of language. He said: Sometimes I get scared-—scared for the children. Language takes my children away from me, that is why I am scared. They do not hear my words. When he throws his [Native Indian] language away, that is when it starts. He makes fun of his father and mother, his grandfather and grandmother (Aiden Spiller, 1984). Many Natives who left the residential school system feared to speak their language and so failed to teach the ^ language and traditional ways to their children. Of this fear to speak the language Haig-Brown wrote that as adults many consciously did not teach their children a Native language so that they might avoid the punishments incurred through its use at school (1988:110). One of the tragedies of this fear of speaking one's Native language is the failure to take advantage of what a culture offers to help ease the hardship of parenting. In former times an intricate network of relatives could be depended on to help in child-rearing as demonstrated in the following section. The Kinship and Extended Family Network Traditionally, Native communities "were structured around the unique inter-relationships that exist among family, extended family, clan band, and tribe" (Kahtou, 1989:8). In addressing this uniquefamily pattern Lewis wrote that "The kinship structure, embodying a network of valued relationships / is_one„,of .jthe , important keystones of the culture" (1970:16). The actual structure of the society included large extended families, and the child, "highly valued, occupies a central place within" it (Fischler, 1985:95). The traditional Native family " included_maternal...and paternal grandfathers, uncles, aunts, and cousins who all actively participated in child-rearing" (Cross, 19886:284). This sharing of child-rearing by several persons was a traditional custom honoured and practiced by all North American Indian tribes (Red Horse, 1980:467). During periods of hunting and gathering, most nomadic tribes naturally assumed this standard of protecting children (Fischler, 1985:96). Children were continually under the watchful eyes of either the tribal elders, siblings, cousins, aunts, or grandparents. As a result of all this nurturing and security the Native "child's self-concept is 29 strongly tied to his family, clan, and tribe...and bonds formed early within this structure" (Blanchard and Barsh, 1980:350). Furthermore, the extended "family structure provided support for .f-ami 1 ies—fe©--llw^f"iT*w^lesome 7~H5n- threatening way" (Kahtou, 1989:9) because "child-rearing responsibilities were divided among many members of the community, and no single individual was overburdened with the care, discipline, or feeding of a child" (Cross, 1986:284). Thus, the removal of Native children from parents, to be raised in residential schools, deprived those children of a cultural legacy. The experience missed is the tightly knit community of extended family and relatives who share the task of child-rearing by providing nurturing and security. As well as the breakdown of the extended family and kinship systems, the confusion brought on by the residential school's indoctrination, has undermined the role of elders passing down traditions,,. The ban on the speaking of Native languages interfered with this "passing down" process. 30 EFFECTS OF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS ON CHILD-REARING PATTERNS Corporal punishment was associated with the speaking of the Native language. This form of discipline was devastating to the pupils. However, a lot of Native parents resorted to using this form of punitive discipline with their offspring. This is understandable because, as Hull stated, the use of this "punitive discipline is the result of harsh treatment modelled for them as children by the staff" (1982:344) at residential schools. This lack of positive role-modelling, brought on by the education process at residential schools, has taken its toll in the Native family in Canada today. When the family structure is weakened or destroyed the culture and society is affected. Rose Charlie, of the Indian Homemaker's Association of B.C., declared: While the family is said to be the base of any society, the family for Indian people is still of greater importance. It is the very foundation of our culture. In contrast to the individualistic, nuclear family concept of the non-Indian people, we are culturally a communal society which functions within the framework of the extended family (1981:1). The major assumption underlying this paper is that there has been a breakdown of traditional and cultural child-rearing patterns. Near loss or loss of language and •• the fear of speaking it affected these belief systems and child-rearing values. This has seriously eroded the Native family, culture, and society. Haig-Brown concluded that 31 ...although punishing children for speaking their language did not eradicate it...[t]his generational control has had devastating effects on the children whose parents attended residential school. Many of them never learned their Native language (1988:110- 111). The fear of speaking the language and the punishment associated with it convinced a lot of the students that speaking the language indicated inferiority. These words from a student in Haig-Brown's study express the feeling of inferiority: You know something funny about speaking your own language. When I first come out of school, I was embarrassed to speak my language in front of white people...Now I speak...any place and any time...but it took about three or four get away from that embarrassment of speaking it on the street...They just about brainwashed us out of it (1988:109). In the process of this fear of speaking the language self-esteem was presumably damaged. Self-esteem, or the feeling of self-worth, is the core of personality (Briggs, 1970:3). Without this feeling, happiness, health, productivity, and survival are affected. In one of the only studies conducted in the U.S.A. on this subject of Indian boarding schools and parenting Metcalf found that "educational experiences encountered in middle childhood have detrimentally affected the adult self-esteem and maternal attitudes of Navajo women" (1975:535). As a very young adult, Willis, wrote a first person account of residential school life and inter-cultural encounters there. Through her young mind she analyzed her abnormal upbringing and wrote in her book, Genish: An Indian Girlhood: 32 The most difficult adjustment I had to make upon entering the boarding school has been accepting the fact that I was no longer the important person that I had been at h o m e — o r liked to believe I was anyway. I was just one of the crowd of little savages who had to be saved and anglicized (1973:74). Ruth Tom, in the book Wisdom of the Elders, exhibits the same feeling of inferiority as she despairingly reflected: Growing up I felt sorry I was Indian. You keep hearing you're not much good...I was fourteen by the time they let me -go home. By then it was too late. I never got close with my mother. I wanted a better life...When my daughter came, I didn't want her to know the pain I've had...I shielded her from being Indian (Kirk, 1986:244). In a recent Canadian Press article, another former residential school student, Rudy Bruyere, commented on his dysfunctional lifestyle. He traced his confusion about his identity to his education. He hardly saw his parents, and grew frustrated with his regimented life. "Virtually, we grew up to hate what we were" (The Vancouver Sun, Wednesday, October 4,1989:A8), he said. Dr. Ed Connors, a consulting psychologist of Mohawk-Irish decent, said of this experience at school, "... probably one of the gravest mistakes we made, we gave away our children through the residential school system. The loss of...traditions can certainly be traced back to the experiences with residential schools, and in turn, point to many of the problems we're facing today..."fNational Inquiry Into First Nations Child Care. July, 1989:56). This chapter concludes with the following comment from Bergman, reporting from his clinical experience: Among the young adults, who are the first generation of...whom went to school, there are many serious problems... I have encountered many others who take the attitude that they should not be burdened with their children and that ...some other institution should care for them. It seems a reasonable hypothesis that having been placed by their parents in an impersonal institution contributes to such attitudes, and it is noticeable that the boarding schools provide children and adolescents with little or no opportunity to take care of other children or even of themselves (1967:14). SUMMARY The breaking up of Native families, by putting young children in residential schools, wasjencouraged from an early date by government legislators and enforced by representatives of the church_and by federal government Indian agents. This practice removed the traditional role for child care out of Jthe Native culture and placed it with the government at these schools. By the 1960's, questions were being raised as to whether a pattern of expectation had developed among Native parents abrogating their responsibility as parents (Caldwell, 1967, Metcalf, 1975, and Bergman, 1967), Prohibiting the use of Native languages at every residential school and enforcing this prohibition by the threat of corporal punishment discouraged the speaking of one's mother tongue. Young children were s i so 1 a ted^cul tur a 1 ly and geographically for a period'""of ten 5; months a year for,most»of thei^'Tni-ddle^h41dhoo^d_years,. This diminished the chance for Native children to gain a s respect for their elders, language, culture, and feel a sense of pride in their unique "Indianness". When one is taught that one's culture is inferior, one learns to reject it and devalue its relevance. When punishment is inflicted because of speaking one's own language one soon gets conditioned to associating punishment with speaking "Indian". Over time one begins to attach little value to the teachings of parents and one learns to ignore the teachings or else fails to relate to the Native stories because one has learned to.concentrate on the teachings of the schools. Gradually, as one matures, one is not likely to listen very attentively to one's parents or elders because of the fear associated with this language. Or else one rationalizes that the teachings will have no place in one's life in the future. The value attached to the oral tradition, a vital mechanism of transmitting culture, is diminished and eroded. Today child-rearing patterns among Natives have presumably been severely affected and modified. In the process, presumably the children's self-esteem has been damaged and communication between generations was broken through language loss. Values, beliefs, and customs were not systematically taught to subsequent generations. Respect for this oral tradition, as a tool of teaching, did not become internalized. What did become internalized is the inferiority and the feeling of shame associated with the devalued culture encouraged by the hidden and not-so-hidden curriculum of the residential schools. Chapter 2 PURPOSE, DEFINITION OF TERMS, DESIGN, AND SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore apparent effects of residential schools on the child-rearing patterns of Natives who attended these schools. The government's assimilation policy was to transmit the dominant society's values, skills, culture, religion, and language to young Native children. A main object of this policy was the Native language. Speaking any Native language was forbidden and punishable when caught. This presumably weakened the fragile structure of the Native family and society because "learning occurred by oral transmission and was contingent on respect for older people" (Friesen, 1985:94). 35 36 Definition of Terms For the purpose of this study the definition of language and culture was from The American College Dictionary, and not from any social sciences source. Language is "applied to the general pattern of a people or race" (1956:686), and is "any set or system of such symbols as used in a more or less uniform fashion by a number of people, who are thus enabled to communicate intelligibly with one another" (1956:685). Culture is "the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings, which is transmitted from one generation to [another] generation" (1956:295) through a common language. Native Indian is defined as a person of aboriginal ancestry. This refers to those defined by the Indian Act and registered as status Indians. This study includes non- status Indians and Metis. The reason is that many non- status Indians lost their status but still attended the residential schools as children. Metis also attended residential schools. Euro-Canadian is a term commonly used in anthropology and ethnography to refer to persons of *white' European extraction (Bienvenue, 1978). Extended families are the unique inter-relationships in a Native community. Extended families form a support network of valued relationships with significant others; and 37 include paternal and maternal grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. "Extended family members did more of the child-raising, in former times, than did the parents themselves" (Hungry Wolf, 1987:171) and provided "...more role models from which behavior can be copied ..." (Blanchard,1989:1). Residential schools were formally called industrial schools because of the emphasis on industrial training for young Canadian Native children. Regardless of what term was used in the early period, the schools were founded for the purpose of boarding children in dormitories, ten months of the year; hence, residential schools became the accepted term in Canada. In the United States the term ^boarding schools' is used. Parenting skills and child-rearing patterns reflect the culture using the terms. The term ^parenting' is problematic for the Native culture. For Euro-Canadians a parent is generally a father or a mother; in Native culture several members of the extended family and the community, in the past, were involved in child-rearing by observation, imitation, and story-telling in order to establish child- rearing patterns; therefore, appropriately, the term child- rearing patterns is preferred for the Native culture. 38 Study Design Two approaches were taken to acquiring evidence about the effects of residential school experience on Native (Indian) child-rearing practices. One approach was to review the relevant literature; the other was to interview persons about their experiences being raised in residential schools and their perceptions of the effects of those experiences on their child-rearing practices. The interview data were gathered from three persons. One is a male elder who went to residential school and who sent his children to residential school. Another is a female who attended residential school but lost her status through marriage; and the other, a female, attended residential school, but chose not to send her status children. (The three subjects, in order to protect their anonymity, have been given pseudonyms.) The interviews of the adults historical reconstruction of their childhood experiences will be analyzed in order to ascertain, document, and interpret their recollections of residential school life and their brief home life between sessions at the school. These childhood experiences will be linked to their child-rearing patterns in parenthood. The following are the questions asked: 1. If you can remember your life before age six, can you tell me something about your relationships with your mother and father, and what they taught you? 39 2. At residential school you were forced to stay away from your parents and a home life you knew. How did the absence of your parents and your extended family members affect you? 3. Culture is rooted in the language of a people. Tell me how your experiences with your language at residential school affected your ability as a parent in any way? 4. Children learn child-rearing patterns from the way they are cared for. In what ways do you think your children were affected because of your childhood experiences at residential school? 5. This question is for the one who kept her children at home and raised them away from residential school. What determined your decision to raise your children yourself? Significance of the Study There are few detailed studies that have focused directly on Native people's accounts of their experiences in residential schools. The elder who agreed to be interviewed is 77 years old. Many of the older generation did not have a chance to give an account of their residential school experiences. This important phase of Native life is largely unrecorded by those who lived through the experience. The elder is traditional; he practices and encourages the use of the oral tradition of his culture as a means of preserving knowledge for all members of his extended family. The two 40 female subjects lost, and later regained, vital components of their culture that they considered important for their self-concept, their role as parents, and as contributing and productive members of both Native and non-Native cultures. Both females became teachers and pursued graduate degrees. A long-term relationship between these three subjects has been firmly established by the interviewer. This is essential because of the emotionally-burdensome topic. As well, the writer spent ten years in three residential schools. Even fewer studies exist on the effects of this type of education on Native child-rearing patterns written by Native persons involved. One of the study mothers has informed the writer that her children were the first generation in her family that did not attend residential school. This study may benefit Native education administrators, social workers, those in counselling positions in psychology and criminology, and most importantly, the Native people. Those who attended these schools may be able to make some connection between the outcomes of this study and their present state with past residential school experiences. Their children, too, may benefit, in that the younger generation of Natives do not know what went on in the schools; few of their parents can discuss this emotional and humiliating experience rationally with their children. The outcome of this study may help to strengthen the community by addressing this condition. The format of the paper is as follows: Chapter one sets the background for this study and provides a review of the major features of Native experiences in residential schools as reported in the literature; Chapter two spells out the purpose of the study and the general research questions; important terms are defined; and the design of the study is indicated as is the rationale for doing the study. Chapter three is in two parts: the first part reports the findings from the literature review which address directly the question of the effects of the residential school experience on Native child-rearing practices; the second part reports the interview data and the analysis of those data. Chapter four is in two parts: The first part reports the results of the literature review, the interview data, and sets out the findings of the analysis in pattern matching across cases; the second part reports recommendations to promote healing from this experience for Native people in order to help them find strength and confidence in their ability to love, nurture, and care for their children using traditional Native ways so that the community may be strengthened. Finally, the conclusion will make suggestions for further studies in education administration, social work, and counselling psychology. Chapter 3 REPORTING THE FINDINGS INTRODUCTION This section examines how the interview data were analyzed for presentation. Each interview was audio- recorded with permission. After transcribing each case interview, the key points were extracted. Through a content analysis a variety of categories and themes emerged. The five research questions provided the framework for the analysis; the themes that emerged were listed. The themes were color-coded to provide easier identification when placing them under the specific questions. Not all answers came under the question asked; the answers were elsewhere, under other questions. Ten key points emerged, but on closer analysis, the ten points were further collapsed into the four categories which reflect the four questions used. Question five was redundant, and therefore, no analysis was carried out. Question one's category is ^family remembrances'; question two's category is ^confusion due to acculteration'; question three's category is xreserve and residential school 4 2 43 language experiences'; and question four's category is xeffects of residential school on Native child-rearing patterns '. Under each question the responses of each interviewee are presented. For example, for question one, Robert's views are listed, followed by Beverly's, and Salina's; then a summary of the answers is given; and, next a table displays the findings in across case pattern matching. Finally, generalizations of the three answers are presented. The treatment of each question follows the same sequence. The following sections present the literature review findings and the findings from the interviews. FINDINGS FROM THE LITERATURE REVIEW This part of this chapter first reports the findings from the literature review which address directly the question of the effects of Canadian Indian Residential Schools experiences on Native child-rearing patterns. The literature on Canadian residential school's effects on Native child-rearing patterns provided little information although the literature of several disciplines was reviewed. They are: sociology, anthropology, psychology, and social work. Sage Family Studies Abstracts, Inventory of Marriage and Family Literature, Canadian Periodical Index, Social Work Index, and Psychological Abstracts were also reviewed. 44 The one source on effects of residential schools on Native child-rearing patterns came from the Psychological Abstracts under the descriptors *women' and ^boarding schools'. It is an American study based on Navajo women. It is included because it is the only empirical study conducted on this topic; also, the study addresses an identical Canadian problem. In this benchmark study, From Schoolgirl to Mother: The Effects of Education on Navaio Women. Metcalf reported that boarding school education had profound effect on Navajo women and families. Metcalf's observations indicate that this type of schooling lowered the women's self-esteem... detrimentally affected the way they see themselves as women and as mothers, and negatively influenced their family interaction. Further, the damaging effects...on the mothers are in turn affecting the next generation of Navajo children (1972:544). The most current published Canadian study to focus directly on Native persons'account of their residential school experiences is by Haig-Brown, in Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School (1988). However, only two paragraphs in her book address the issue of parenting skills of former students at the Kamloops Indian Residential School (K.I.R.S.). Haig-Brown suggests that, for a few children, before residential schooling life was not all security. Particularly in the 1950's...the coming to parenthood of a generation of people, who through attendance at the residential school had little opportunity to learn parenting skills, created some unhealthy situations for children (1988:37). In the second passage Haig-Brown commented that / former students who are now parents recognize the j deficiencies in their experience with family units.... V children learn parenting skills by the way they are "'•N,parented. Those who spent eight, ten, or more years at /K.I.R.S. had limited experience as family members. In /the same way that their, language use is based on the % ^/knowledge they gained before going to school, so their ^ /parenting skills must draw on that limited experience ,r# / (1988:111). I • t/In an unpublished Master's thesis, Cultural Meaning; Loss and Recovery. More interviewed three elders for this case study in counselling psychology. She concluded: The elders have survived some major psychological losses, losses which are generally understood to be traumatic with long lasting effects; early separation from parents and home, separation from parents during the developmental years of childhood, a boarding school experience, separation of the sexes, ineffective parenting styles in the residential schools—rigidity, lack of emotional understanding and respect, and high authoritarianism. These traumatic experiences will influence their world view, their understanding of the Euro-Canadian culture, their interaction with others, their personal relationships, and their parenting style. These traumatic experiences will also be transmitted to the next generation in some form (1985:148) . In 1973, J. Ryan wrote a doctoral thesis in anthropology on Squamish Socialization. Ryan's analysis of the residential school experience for the Squamish Native people may include other Natives because the socialization process was similar for all. She wrote that those Squamish who are now parents belong to the generation which was removed from the influence of the families and raised in residential school. This process attacked Indian culture; it did not reinforce it....Because the children were in residence, the attacks could not be withstood by their parents who saw them infrequently, if at all....They were not able to maintain the "essential patterns" in the residential school and so they suffered cultural loss...and the loss of contact with adjacent generations...(1973:230-231). In 1984, The Four Worlds Development Project, at the University of Lethbridge, published a discussion paper called, How History Has Affected Native Life Today. as part of a series to help Native communities engage in discussions of individual and community transformation. The paper describes an experience with a residential school for Dene people; and "also discusses the loss of language and cultural identity, alienation between generations, and severe psychological traumas and the resulting...loss of good parenting skills. Finally, in part of the video, The Mission School Syndrome f Jim Atkinson conducted an interview with a f ormer Kamloops Residential School woman who specifically addressed what was at the heart of the syndrome: that many parents had never been parented at residential school, so how could they parent? Coates emphasized the parenting problem in the same video when he stated that these former residential school students had all been robbed of parenting skills. A whole generation of Natives, Coates claimed, do not have the ability to raise their children (Northern Native Broadcasting, Yukon, 1988). In the literature review findings that directly address the effects of residential school experiences on Native child-rearing practices four of the studies (Metcalf, 1972, More, 1985, Ryan, 1973, and Four Worlds Development Project, 1984) focus on how the education is now affecting subsequent 47 generations. The other two studies (Haig-Brown, 1988, and Atkinson, 1988) are important because it is former residential school students who are attributing their loss of child-rearing patterns to the lack of parenting at the institutions. '"T In summary, due to residential school education, the current generation of elders and others, who survived the ^ system, suffered traumatic losses such as self-esteem, parenting skills, and language; these losses are both psychological and cultural; consequently, these traumatic experiences will be transmitted in some form to the next / generations. The next part examines the findings from I interviews of three former residential school students. FINDINGS FROM THE INTERVIEWS This second part reports the interview data and the analysis of those data. An explanation of the procedures follows. The first subject, a Cree elder, was interviewed in the Cree language after a trial interview of answering the questions for five minutes each was conducted in English. This was not successful. Therefore, later it was decided to conduct the interview in Cree because the elder felt he could express himself better. This was possible because the 48 writer is Cree. The Cree interview lasted for one and a half hours. The interview was first translated into English and recorded onto another tape. Then, the tape was transcribed onto a word processor. The initial transcriptions were minimally edited. The other two interviews were conducted in English and lasted one hour each. The three interviewees are given pseudonyms for anonymity. The full text of the three interviews appears in the Appendix. The four general research questions provide the framework for the analysis of the data. What follows is the report of the data/findings. Question 1 FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS: REMEMBRANCES OF THE EARLIEST YEARS If you can remember your life before age six, can you tell me something about your relationships with your mother and father, and what they taught you? (Probe: Family remembrances and how Native children were raised and encultered through their elders' child-rearing patterns). Robert. Memories of his life before age six were: his parents raised him in a kind and loving way; they taught him to be kind, never to be disrespectful to anyone, and not to tell untruths, to pray and to keep faith in the Creator, not to steal, and not to be mean or unkind; his mother taught him how to work. "As a child I was taught 49 get up early, not to sleep long into the morning"; his chores included bringing in the chopped wood for the stove, helping his sister to haul water. He used little pails for this chore; his learning was incremental—as he got older he prepared the wood for the fire, and learned to sew; he mended his own clothes and moccasins; he was taught and learned in Cree, including Cree syllables because everybody on his reserve spoke only Cree to each other. "I learned all...traditions in Cree"; his sisters were involved in his learning: "...they looked after me very well when I first started to work inside the house"; his sisters were also responsible for him when their mother worked in town; the aunts, uncles, and cousins all lived close together. His father trapped, and the family all went together with him. He believes now that parents were strong before because they used the teachings of their elders and grandfathers, and by observing. Elders had a role. Children were taught lessons by story-telling, his parents were [intuitively] aware of stages of child development. Robert stated, "All these things I learned when I was very young. As I got older, and understood more, other things were added to my knowledge. My mother patiently taught me through different stages of my life. When I reached puberty the emphasis shifted to man's work. Then I did everything my father did". He prepared and made the fish nets, mended them, and also made his own snowshoes. He mended the boat by using spruce gum which he gathered himself. Of this learning he comments, "I learned all these things effectively and in a good way. As a result I was never in need of anything all my life". Beverly. Beverly went to residential school at age three. Her parents and elders spoke only Cree. "My parents loved me at home? at residential school no one cared"; she remembered her grandmother teaching her in a kind and gentle way "...more so than my mother was. No harsh words; were ever spoken when I didn't do things right. She would just tease me. Her teasing was her way of telling me that I didn't do the task right. I had to do it right until her teasing stopped"; the people on the reserve took responsibility for keeping children in line and didn't allow children to be disrespectful; "All my relatives treated children with kindness and understanding when we were home". The presence of an older sister at residential school provided security and affection. Her mother and father went to residential school. Salina. As a child, Salina was a central part of her mother's life. She was given a lot of independence at an early age. Her mother's influence was strong and her 51 beliefs in Salina's abilities were important. Salina became a teacher. Her mother had no strict discipline, and no punishment. Her mother's separation from her father was traumatic as he took the other children but left Salina. Salina's mother felt she had provided and cared for them; but, due to this arrangement, she suffered emotionally, and was unable to care for Salina; Salina was raised by her grandmother, the stabilizer in her family. Salina was quite fluent in her mother tongue before she went to residential school; when Salina misbehaved, she was scolded. She xread' the body language message for the effects of her misbehaviour; Salina's grandmother told her stories to teach, told her what not to do, provided food by gardening and berry picking, offered praise when Salina helped weed, and served as a role model for hard work; Salina's father was Catholic; her mother an Anglican, which is the religion Salina was raised in; when it was time for the children to begin their education, Salina, at eight years old, went to an Anglican residential school, and her brothers went to a Catholic one, and was separated from her family for twelve years. "It was just fortunate that I had an older cousin who went to the same school I did. She was older, but at least, there was someone there for me. She became a sister to me". Salina's brothers were strangers to her; at about age six or seven years, Salina was given the 52 responsibility of caring for her aunt's small children when her aunt was indisposed. Salina was barely able to reach the stove to cook for them. At night she kept the lamp on because of fear. Salina's aunt had previously gone to residential school. Summary. Robert's parents, aware of stages of child development, raised him in kind and loving ways, were literate in Cree syllabics, and gave him a solid foundation of the traditional skills, language, good work habits, and spiritual teachings. His sisters were involved in his learning; all his family, aunts, uncles, and cousins lived close together? the elders role was to teach; story-telling was used; and, children learned by observing. Beverly said all her relatives treated her and her siblings with kindness and understanding when she was home. Her parents loved her. Her elders were involved in teaching her. Her grandmother was a role model. She lost Cree but she re-gained it later at the trapline with her elders. She said people on the reserve took responsibility for teaching the children. Salina was a central part of her mother's life. She knew no strict discipline nor punishment before residential school. A cousin became like a sister at school. Her elder told stories to teach, had a garden and picked berries, was a role model for work; and Salina was fluent in her language. Salina's aunt sometimes lived with them; and Salina, at six or seven years old, was responsible for caring for her aunt's small children. Table 1 follows. TABLE 1 FAMILY REMEMBRANCES SPECIFIC PROCESSES: OCCURS IN CASE • 1. Raised in a kind and loving way 1 2 3 2. Teachings absorbed through imitation and observation of parents. 1 2 3 3. Traditional teachings in own language 1 2 3 4. Siblings involved in learning. 1 2 3 5. Extended family involved in child- rearing. 1 2 3 6. Elders role model and tell stories to teach children. 1 2 3 7. Learning incremental and chores adjusted. 1 3 8. Stages of child development known. 1 The generalizations of the cases' earliest remembrances before residential school were: All three were raised in a kind and loving environment; elders provided the role modelling and told stories to teach, so learning for children was by imitating, listening, and observing; in the formative years, work was required, but their parents/elders took their age into account; the extended family's role was in nurturing and raising the young; and teachings were in the mother tongue. Question 2 CONFUSION DUE TO ACCULTERATION At residential school you were forced to stay away from your parents and a home life you knew. How did the absence of your parents and your extended family members affect you? (Probe: How residential school life created confusion due to acculteration and what was it like at residential school for children). Robert. At residential school he was not treated in a kind and loving way. He sneaked home and ran away a lot. He was lonely because he wanted to live with his parents and relatives. The school was seven miles from his home; he started to lose the good training he had been taught earlier. "This is where I strayed from the path of my parents' teachings. I started to steal...lie...swear...also lost respect for the dignity of human beings. It was all because...the staff, didn't treat us very well...nobody there...loved us"; the work, such as gardening and looking after the farm animals, were positive experiences for Robert. He was thankful he was able to continue some of the work his parents taught him. School was only half a day, the other half was this work. "I would have to be at the barn at six o'clock every morning, no matter what the weather was look after the... animals. We had to get the horses they would be ready to begin work at eight o'clock. Everything was timed...The school reinforced these teachings of my parents....I was never sorry to get up early..."? Robert tried to hang onto his parent's teachings but became confused and lost the traditional patterns. "The school took me away from my culture and forced me to think in a different way"; he said that now Native people keep looking to the white man's culture to see how they can raise their children the same way; later in his parenthood he confesses he was never able to sit down with his children and say, "This is how to do things" like his parents did. He tried to teach his parent's way, but the teachings from the residential school got in his way. He tried to live in two cultures, but was weakened, felt ashamed, and did not value his Native culture. "I sent my children they could learn to make a good living through their education." He encouraged them to stay where they found a position and not return to the reserve; because he had to steal food to survive, learned to lie and swear to protect himself, he never believed he was a good person; he remembered that before residential school times siblings were given responsibility for caring for young children; Robert said that there is a difference between those who went to residential school and those that did not. Those who didn't go taught the traditional way, and those who went tried to live in two cultures, but not doing well in either. "We were taught one thing at residential school, to forget our culture; and we also tried to hang onto the teachings of our parents". Beverly. "No one cared about me" in school. Beverly didn't see her older sisters much, and saw less of her brothers because of the sibling separation. "The staff and kids accused us of chasing boys if we spoke to our brother". As a result, each summer she had to get re-acquainted with them along with her other family members, including her elders; as Beverly got older she felt her parents didn't know anything because of the negative things said about Indian people at the residential school. She felt she knew more than her mother because her mother couldn't speak English; Beverly found it difficult as she lived in two different worlds, continually adjusting, and trying to make sense of her two lives. Each environment demanded certain standards and expectations were different in each; she had no sense of self because of the regimental system. "It was hard to realize you were a person of your own who could make choices". 57 Salina. As a result of sibling separation Salina's brothers and sisters were strangers to her until later in her adult years. No strong bonds developed as siblings went to a Catholic school, she to an Anglican one; whereas, her husband's family on the other hand is close and affectionate; he did not go to residential school; when Salina was eight her youngest brother was born. She was like a mother to him. The closeness was cut when the time came for him to go to residential school. The separation confused him, he cried. Remembering this Salina said, ". ..because of the way kids were separated they teased each other if they even talked to an older sister. It was not proper to talk to brothers and sisters"; Salina was lonely, sad, confused, lost, and grew to feel that her parents were like strangers. "You were just one person"; "The way the supervisors spoke to us, they always seemed to devalue what our parents tried to give us from home". She realizes now that if she continues to "think or devalue the language, our culture will be lost". Summary. Robert was lonely for his relatives when he was not treated in a kind and loving way at residential school; he is thankful for the work experiences, getting up early, and working by the clock at school which reinforced his parents' teachings; but to survive there and protect 58 himself he lost the good traditional patterns. He became confused, stole, lied, and swore, and tried to live in two cultures. He knows there is a difference between those who went and those who did not go to residential school. Beverly went to residential school at age three; as she got older she felt her parents didn't know anything; she was shamed for speaking to her brothers at school; and she found it difficult to live in two different worlds. She had no sense of self because of the regimented life. Salina did not develop strong bonds because of siblings separation; siblings and parents were strangers; she was eight when her youngest brother was born; at residential school, he was teased if he talked to her. She was lonely, lost, and confused about her identity, but realizes now that culture and language are valuable and must be preserved. See Table 2 on the following page. 59 TABLE 2 CONFUSION DUE TO ACCULTERATION SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS: OCCURS IN CASE 1. Lonely, unloved/uncared for. 1 2 3 2. Culture removed and forced to think differently; lost parental training. 1 2 3 3 . Tried to live in two cultures. 1 2 3 4. No good self-concept. 1 2 3 5. Sibling separation creates strangers in family. 2 3 6. Differences in those who attended residential school and those who did not. 1 3 7. Sneaked home or ran away. 1 The generalizations are that: Loneliness and lack of nurturing at residential school resulted in negative responses and challenging the system; the system created confusion from a lack of a clear self-identity and children in residential school had to adopt different forms of behaviour to survive; but because of the differences in the school and a natural family setting these behaviours were in conflict with their own culture; children were separated according to age and sex and the norm at residential school was not talking to the opposite sex, even if you were 60 siblings; this created strangers in families as it was difficult and uncomfortable to form close emotional bonds under these circumstances; there is a difference between those who attended and those who did not attend these schools-those who attended residential school became ashamed of their culture, and they lacked affection toward their children; whereas, those who didn't attend were aware of their unique Native identity, and were able to nurture their children with affection. Question 3 RESERVE/RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL LANGUAGE EXPERIENCES Culture is rooted in the language of a people. Tell me how your experiences with your language at residential school affected your ability as a parent in any way? (Probe: How language experiences, both on the reserve and at residential school, affected their own childhood.) Robert. His childhood language experiences before residential school were traditional and everybody spoke the same Cree on the reserve; at residential school he was constantly punished by strapping for speaking Cree, but despite this, he managed to retain his language; later, as his own children went to residential school much further away, other languages were spoken by the children there; this made it easier for children to practice English. 61 Thus, when his children returned home for the summer holidays, they continued to speak English to each other. Unfortunately, now, he said, "All my grandchildren do not speak Cree, except for my youngest son's kids. He didn't go to residential school"; being taught to forget his culture in residential school, he can now say the culture "will give us the live well, it serves us adequately....When we don't teach our children these teachings in our language, we help to lose or destroy our culture". Beverly. Beverly does not remember speaking Cree at residential school, "By the time I was four or five I had probably lost my Cree. My parents took me out [of residential school] to [go to] the trapline with my grandparents to regain the language," but she does remember other children being strapped or smacked for speaking it; she was ridiculed for being Indian; "That was punishment..."; she expected her parents to speak English and looked on them as different from what it was like in boarding school; in her teens she was embarrassed at losing Cree skills and not pronouncing Cree words properly; Beverly desired to impress her elders and to communicate-in Cree with them; at school she envied those who lost their Cree; the staff at school created the impression that "speaking 62 English was the only way they were going to be able to get along in school, and outside of it"; her mother spoke English only to white people and "didn't want us learning English"; Beverly didn't teach her children Cree. Her excuse was that her children wouldn't use Cree anywhere else but she can't say if she thought Cree was inferior. Salina. Her grandmother gave Salina the gift of the Indian language by teaching her. Due to her language experiences at residential school Salina said, "I was not proud of my Indianness... I never spoke my language...because I didn't want to. I denied my Indianness for so.long....X went through a phase of denial after I left school. Even my friends...were non-Native"; "One supervisor...made me ashamed of our people"; Salina said her son went through the same phase. "He didn't want us, my husband and I, speaking the language." She told her son not to be ashamed of his Indianness, and she said he's changed, and now wants to speak the language. Summary. Robert and people on his reserve all spoke Cree, and he was punished at residential school for speaking it; his own children continued to speak English to each other during summer holidays; now his grandchildren do not speak Cree, except for his youngest son's kids. His youngest son did not go to residential school. Beverly, at 63 first, did not speak Cree at residential school; she remembers others being punished for speaking Cree; she was ridiculed for being an Indian; and she did not teach her children Cree. Salina denied her Indianness for a long time after leaving residential school and never spoke the language; her son went through the same phase, and she feels, both of them have now changed. Table 3 follows. TABLE 3 RESERVE AND RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL LANGUAGE EXPERIENCES SPECIFIC PROCESSES: 1. Before residential school all family and elders spoke language. 2. Children punished for speaking Native language at residential school. 3. Culture valued more because of residential school experience. 4. Language lost to subsequent generations. The generalizations that emerge are that children came from homes where the mother tongue was spoken but some form of punishment, either corporal or affective, was used in OCCURS IN CASE: 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 2 3 64 residential school to prevent the speaking of their language. The punishment was expressly designed to erase their Native identity. Lack of parental support diminished their chance of gaining a respect for their culture, language, and uniqueness. Now the second generation of this system are making efforts to re-gain what they lost; however, the third generation do not speak the Native language. 65 Question 4 EFFECTS OF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS EXPERIENCES ON NATIVE CHILD-REARING PATTERNS Children learn child-rearing patterns from the way they are cared for. Were your children affected because of your childhood experiences at residential school? (Probe: The relation of the cases' residential school experiences to their own child-rearing practices). Robert. Robert was constantly hungry. He never had enough of anything that was good. "I am sad that were not kept well or not cared for"; nobody there "...loved me as my parents did. We were all left to ourselves, to protect ourselves in any way we could"; "Nobody cared personally for us, and no one taught the children how to behave to each other"; "The white person raised me for a short time. They taught me how I should think about some things, but the staff erased those things my parents taught me about caring and sharing"; the different ways in which children were raised at his home and in school led him astray. It was not easy to show his children the same things his parents had taught him as a child. He feels he was not able to be a good example to his children because of his bad experiences. But he said, "We need to go back to the ways which served us well"; 66 "The elders have always known what happened and they did their best to preserve the culture as they understood it to be good for us"; the school's teachings of working he is grateful for because this enabled him to work and support his family all his life; discipline was taught in army drill with rifles and marching to boys at age fourteen. He does not know what the girls were taught; he said today some Native children are not well looked after on the reserve. So many are left alone unsupervised. The parents go and play Bingo almost every night. He said that it seems Indian parents can't love or nurture their children. He mentioned how children in residential school were locked in their dormitories at night unattended. Beverly. "As I got older, I no longer felt that my parents knew anything...Sometimes I felt that I knew more than my parents, especially my mother"; "My father knew the importance of a good education"; (Field notes: Beverly became a teacher and received her Master's in Education as her children were growing up.) Teachers were cruel and there was no affection shown children. "No one parented me at residential school"; she said her children suffered because of her experiences at residential school; the experiences adversely affecting her 67 eldest child the most, as Beverly expected perfection; her eldest child had to be perfect in everything, in school, looks, and in dressing. This eldest child later became anorexic; the rigidity and regimentalism of residential school demanded order with constant yelling. She remembers "folding clothes, but they had to be folded just so". She expected the same thing from her first child. Beverly always yelled because she wanted her eldest to do things immediately. Beverly said, "...I was only doing what I learned, in that I was trained this way at residential school". Her daughter got different messages because Beverly would be yelling one minute, and the next minute, hugged her daughter. "I knew I hurt my child's feelings, then I would try to make up...I'm sure she was often confused"; she expected so much from her eldest child that was not age- appropriate. Beverly wasn't aware she could enjoy children but with her second she gained more confidence and enjoyed parenting more; Beverly remembered her mother blaming the residential school for her bad behaviors "such as being rude, talking back, being disrespectful to people by not waiting my turn to speak, and walking in front of elders." Salina. Her mother left Salina in the care of her grandmother. "I was so confused and lost, and lonely 68 because of this separation from her...I made up my mind my son would never leave me"; losing her children caused Salina's mother's trauma; it was very tragic for her. "...rather than take me with her when she was going through that phase, she brought me to my grandmother"; an aunt sometimes lived with them; each child had his/her own numbered clothes, books, locker, and even food was distributed to you. "You got to believe there was no room for sharing". She believed this is what broke the unity in her community. "Those people with this residential school experience still hang onto this concept of not sharing. It's hard to break out of that mold." Losing this value of sharing makes it hard for her family to work together now. She recently realized why her family is like that. "It was because of residential school and we don't value taking care of each other anymore"; even though the residential school was so close many parents didn't visit their children. "But it was also sad when the parents did come...the visit was so rigid...the staff dictated how the visit should this little cubicle of a room. Parents weren't welcomed, they felt like they were being scrutinized"; Salina was not affectionate with her son. "I don't recall my mother ever showing us any affection". Salina's aunt was not affectionate to her children. Salina's husband did not attend residential school, and he was always affectionate and close to their son. "I really grieve over this lack of 69 affection...! was incapable of..." She took care of her son's physical needs only, such as feeding and bathing, because "I thought this was how to raise children without that bonding from affection"; the staff made a cruel, hurting, and critical comment in front of everybody when her mother did come to visit; on trying to re-gain loss of her language, an elder said to Salina, "You have that strand [of language] still". Summary. Robert never had enough of anything good at residential school; he was hungry, not loved, not cared for, and children were not taught how to behave to each other. The staff erased his parental teachings of caring and sharing; he felt he could not be a good example to his children; but he is grateful for the teachings of work reinforced at school because this was how he supported his family all his life; meanwhile, outside the elders did their best to preserve the culture. He said that today Indian parents leave children unsupervised and mentioned how children were locked in dormitories at night unattended in residential school. Beverly felt she knew more than her mother. Her mother blamed the residential school for Beverly's bad behaviours. No one parented, and Beverly's children suffered because of her early, regimented school life; she demanded behaviour that was not age-appropriate, particularly perfection; she confused her first child a lot with her yelling and then making up the next minute; and her 70 first child had a behaviour disorder. Salina said her mother left her in her grandmother's care. This confused her, but she was determined not to ever leave her son the same way. No sharing went on at the school as you were just a person with a number on all your things; and she realizes this no sharing has carried on into her family and community life, causing disunity. A lack of showing affection is now inter-generational for Salina. Parents did not visit often even though the school was close by; this was discouraged by the staff, physically and emotionally. Table 4 follows. 71 TABLE 2 EFFECTS OF RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL ON CHILD-REARING PATTERNS SPECIFIC PROCESSES: OCCURS IN CASE: 1. Self-esteem affected. 1 2 3 2. No interpersonal skills or interpersonal relationships taught. 1 2 3 3. No Native moral teachings reinforced. 1 2 3 4. Negative self-concept affects child-rearing. 1 2 3 5. Effects of children left alone or unsupervised. 1 2 3 6. Work ethic (school and home influence). 1 2 3 7. Elders role maintained at home. 1 2 3 8. Discipline is authoritarian. The generalizations are that no inter-personal relationship skills were taught to the children; discipline was authoritarian; and no parenting, affection, care, or love occurred. This lack of caring at the school affected the children's self-esteem and self-concept. Now their lack of confidence and their lack of the nurturing skills to become good parents have been attributed to school experiences; this has enabled the cases to make connections between the past and the present unstable community and family life. Native moral teachings were neglected; sharing, a vital Native value, was not fostered as the children grew up parentless; but the home teachings of work, reinforced at the school, enabled these three cases to be productive adults; and, elders outside maintained their role as preservers of the culture and these three cases were positively influenced by this duty. Chapter 3 SUMMARY FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND CONCLUSIONS SUMMARY FINDINGS This section will connect assumptions with the ^literature review used in Chapter one and results of interview findings from the case studies. The second section will connect the literature review findings that are directly related to Native parenting with the interview findings. In Chapter one, the writer made several assumptions as to how and why traditional Native families disintegrated in that the structure of the extended family was weakened or destroyed (Charlie, 1981, Cross, 1986, Blanchard and Barsh, 1980) due to residential school education. The findings disclosed that the separation of siblings resulted in family members becoming strangers. Before residential school times siblings were involved in a responsible learning and teaching capacity towards their own and extended family members under the watchful eyes of their elders. There is now a connection being made as how a fundamental Native value and belief of sharing has eroded causing disunity in a 73 74 community. No strong family loyalties develop to perpetuate this necessary value of sharing. Cree society stressed the sharing of food for survival in their enculteration (Chance, 1968). Children leaving residential schools and returning to their reserves brought a generation gap with them (Coates, 1984, Manuel and Posluns, 1974, and Medicine, 1987). The findings from the case studies suggest that children did not respect their parents due to the disparaging remarks made about them by the staff at the schools, v. The hidden curriculum brought on the decline of traditional child-rearing patterns by the fear or speaking or fear of teaching language to subsequent generations (Connors, 1989, More, 1985, Cross, 1986, Diamond, 1987, and Kirk, 1986). The findings provided evidence on how the language patterns changed from first, secondh and third generation families who went to these schools. Oral language permits transmission of the culture and one of the role of the elders is to maintain the language (Blondin, 1988, Medicine, 1987, Malloch, 19884, and Archibald, 1984). The elder in the study said the elders did their best to preserve the culture outside; and today, elders are still teaching the language. The effects of the education is displayed in parenting from lack of positive role models and the leaving of children (Hull, 1982, Bergman, 1967, Caldwell, 1967, Unger, 1977). The case studies reveal some unhealthy situations 75 from children being left alone and there is also a connection made between the practice of leaving children unattended in locked dormitories in residential schools at night. Confusion resulted from this acculteration that prevailed in the institutions and how this has affected the Native sense of self and ego (Medicine, 1987). Results from the findings reveal that culture was removed and students were forced to think differently? and also, to compensate, children tried to live in two cultures, but with continual adjustment during middle childhood. There was little opportunity for children to develop close emotional bonds. Moreover, this case study discloses there is a difference in those who attended residential school and those who did not as it affects their identity and the role that language plays in their lives and their children's. This section will connect the literature review findings that are directly related to Native parenting and what the three case studies disclosed. First, self-esteem is affected by this type of education, and affecting the next generation (Metcalf, 1972). This occurs in all three cases. Second, some unhealthy situations plague children (Haig-Brown, 1988) such as leaving children unsupervised. Effects of this was directly covered in all three cases. Third, in her study, More (1985) interviewed three elders who survived traumatic psychological losses with long 76 lasting effects. Some of these were caused by residential school experiences. The case study's elder, and the two females, underwent severe emotional and psychological traumas during their childhood that will remain with them; and furthermore, they believe the emotional scars are carried by their children. Fourth, Ryan (1972) described how children were attacked through their culture, and parents were unable to maintain the "essential patterns". All three cases reveal that Native moral teachings were not reinforced. Fifth, loss of language and cultural identity was described as alienating between generations (Four Worlds Development Project, 1984). A positive disclosure from the three cases is that both language and cultural identity is being regained, because throughout this experience, the elders maintained their role at home. Finally, Atkinson and Coates (1988) stated that the mission school syndrome is that many parents had never been parented, so how could they parent? There was a lack of parenting, caring, loving, or teaching of interpersonal skills or cultivating interpersonal relationships as stated by all three cases. 77 What did I find not in the literature review? 1. Army drill with rifles was taught as part of the discipline. 2. Parents are able to make connections to residential experiences and their present circumstances. For example, children were left alone at night, unsupervised, in locked dormitories; today, some parents leave their children unattended to play Bingo. 3. The value of sharing lost its importance. Some ex- students do not honour this fundamental value that is required for survival. 4. Parents intuitively knew stages of child development and applied this knowledge in their child-rearing patterns. For example, work was required by all but age was considered. 5. Parental influence was strong in how some ex-students made choices in their educational goals as opposed to the fact that no teachers from residential school influenced any of the three cases in a positive way. 6. Children from the same family were actually separated because of different religious affiliations. 7. Siblings are strangers and feel uncomfortable with each other. 8. There is a difference between those who went to residential school and those who did not. 9. Problems emerge in third generation children: One had 78 a behaviour disorder, and others lack a positive Native identity. 10. Different behaviours had to be learned by the children to cope and exist in residential school. 11. A tremendous break occurred in what Native parents taught their children. Compare the elder (Robert) and the complete education he underwent and the confusion he felt by not teaching" his offspring the same patterns. 12. Acculturation took place amidst all this confusion between two cultures which left children changed. Most of the change they underwent was not of their choosing. In the process of acculteration, a person is changed, and is never the same again. 13. Parents were literate in Cree syllables and had Christianity before children went to residential schools. The Bible, Prayer, and Hymn books are in syllables. 14. Guilt feelings and inadequacy are associated with acculteration. Not being able to parent effectively is affected as Natives who are products of these schools do not know which child-rearing patterns to respect and use. 15. The school supported the early parental influence of hard work. What in literature review was not in my study? 1. The view that "the Indians possessed no culture or civilization to speak of or worth preserving" (Nock, 1988:77) is not supported by this study. The culture and 79 language possessed by the Natives enabled them to pass down child-rearing patterns that are necessary and worth preserving if the family, as a socialization agent, is to continue to exist. 80 RECOMMENDATIONS There is an urgent need to promote healing from this emotionally burdensome experience for Native people. In 1988 the writer conducted a workshop on healing for those who attended these institutions; recently, Phil Lane from the University of Lethbridge's Four Worlds Development Project, conducted a healing session with Alkalai Lake and presented it in the video, Healing the Hurts (1990). More workshops of this nature are needed immediately because Natives must make some connection to their present level of functioning and what happened in the past to create this. 2. Native parents who attended these schools are needlessly burdened with guilt, resentment, anger, revenge, and frustration. These persons are survivors. Many refuse to talk about this experience as it re-opens old wounds. However, those in the health care services such as social work and counselling psychology must encourage Native clients to talk out these hurts and allow Native spiritual leaders to provide support before and during intervention. 3. Native parenting programs stressing cultural and traditional child-rearing patterns must be implemented. These programs must deal explicitly with this sensitive issue of guilt for their inability to parent effectively. This is part of the cultural loss imposed upon them by the residential school education. It is vital that they know 81 that this is not a defect in their character, but rather, it was part of a systematic assimilation program. This will help in the healing process that will restore lost dignity through low self-esteem. In order for the community to be strengthened and renewed Native people must and can find strength in their ability to love, nurture, and care for their children using traditional Native ways. Children need and deserve this investment. Many Native parents are burdened by past uncontrollable events, but with spiritual support from their own culture they can address the needs of their children. 4. Native parents must return to the elders who will help them recapture the vision of the family. Natives belong to a culture that was concerned about the family as a group. Caring and sharing is a family ideal. Elders possess wisdom based on intuitive knowledge as opposed to intellectual knowledge in the dominant society and this knowledge must be incorporated in Native parenting programs. 5. The chaotic conditions of the Native family is traced to the residential school education which caused this disintegration. Society does not adequately irecognize this education as a major contributing force to this disintegration. Consequently, the symptoms and social indicators of alcoholism, child/spouse abuse and neglect, prison incarceration, violence, and drug dependency are ineffectively dealt with. For Native persons to heal, elders and community leaders must directly address this 82 cause before these symptoms can be treated. 6. This study has shown how parental involvement and belief in children's ability and encouragement has provided the incentive for successful university graduation of the two females studied. Therefore, Native and non-native educators and administrators must conscientiously pursue to implement the two tenets, parental involvement and local control, of the Indian Control of Indian Education (1972). 7. Social service agencies and Band schools should be encouraged to work together to provide parenting programs connected with the schools. Those Native parents who attended residential school still fear schools. Two programs on parenting are excellent because the emphasis is on Native culture and traditions. They are: Kishawehotesewn: A Native Parenting Approach, NeeNahWin Committee, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1983; and Positive Indian Parenting: Honoring our Children by Honoring our Traditions, Northwest Indian Child Welfare Institute, Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., 1986. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY 1. This case study did not randomly select the subjects. Due to the sensitivity of this topic several subjects who were approached felt they were not ready to discuss their residential school experiences yet. This privacy is 83 respected. Two subjects who agreed to share their experiences were from Manitoba and the other from British Columbia. 2. This study can be used in an exploratory and theory- building capacity and for further research. However, its scope of generalizability is limited. The results should be cautiously generalizable to the younger generations of Natives, those Natives who did not attend residential school, and those Natives who had positive experiences during their residential school years. 3. The writer attended three residential schools for ten years. Personal biases and complete objectivity of the researcher is therefore more open to question because of the case study method than if this were an experimental method. Also, the major assumptions underlying the study were the writer's own. 4. The study was based on the subject's selective recollection of past events. Some events lost in memory could not be retrieved. Further research 1. Further case studies can be conducted to provide additional information so that comparisons can be made between the findings. 2. An empirical study with pencil and paper measures as 84 Metcalf conducted but using Canadian Natives as subjects, randomly selected in controlled observations, should be conducted. 3. Studies on those Native children who had positive experiences at residential school should be considered. 4. No one has ever studied how the Native parents felt and personally reacted to the trauma of losing their children to the residential schools. As in social work no one has studied how parents feel after their children have been apprehended. CONCLUSION The major assumption underlying this paper is that there has been a breakdown of traditional and cultural child-rearing patterns in Native family life. Near loss, and the fear of speaking the Native language of those who attended residential school, affected these belief systems and child-rearing values. This has seriously eroded the Native family, culture, and society. The effects of the hidden and not so hidden curriculum brought on the decline of traditional child-rearing patterns. These patterns are transmitted orally and by observation. This study has presented data indicating how the formal transmission of language has nearly ended with 85 the second generation of residential school students. The third generation, whose parents attended residential school, were not taught the language, and consequently, do not speak the language. ^JThere appears to be a loss of traditional child-rearing patterns as former residential school students failed to pass on parental teachings that had an aim in survival and preserving the culture. The systematic indoctrination of the inferior Native culture by the school staff induced acculteration; this acculteration created confusion in young children; this has manifested itself in the way Natives see themselves; and some lack self-confidence, pride in their uniqueness, and self-esteem. If self-esteem is low and there is a negative self-concept, the task of parenting is adversely affected, as both are essential for the rigorous role of child-rearing. Furthermore, inferiority and resentment are nurtured by low self-esteem and is destructive. Child-rearing requires confidence and the need to be strong emotionally. Children need and have a right to the investment of nurturance, love, and care to promote proper development^ Therefore, the quotes at the end of this study focus on healing for the Native community as they struggle to regain dignity and strength. The quotes are addressed to those Natives who survived the residential school system and whose children bear the scars. The scars for both will always be there but they can be softened because the strength to survive and victory will 86 come from within us and from the spirit of our ancestors and elders. For, as George Manuel, our respected and great Shuswap leader, wrote in The Fourth World. At this point in our struggle for survival, the Indian peoples of North America are entitled to declare a victory. We have survived (Manuel and Posluns,1974:4). The elders will continue to lead and preserve the culture, values, customs, beliefs, and language. The struggle to preserve the Native culture through re-learning of the language and the essential values such as the family as a group, and sharing, is the elders sacred trust. Another quote, from one who gave credit to Indian people for their "intuitive grasp of qualitative values" because "the wheel of history cannot be turned back", is noteworthy. Dr. Franz E. Winkler, President of the Myrin Institute in 1967, said Do not nurture in your children a sense of bitterness and revengefulness against white people, for those who have committed the real crimes against Indians have long since gone from the earth (Morley and Gilliam, 1974:xvii). The language and values that are fundamental to Native child-rearing patterns can be re-learned. We have to re- gain them. For our children's sake we cannot give into bitterness, discouragement, or hopelessness. In the Jane B. Katz book, I am the Fire of Time, the Cree singer and activist, Buffy Saint-Marie wrote a chapter called "Rejoice 87 in our survival and our ways". she stressed overcoming fear of the past and continuing a life in the process of healing. Sainte-Marie wrote: It's self destructive to save bitterness. Bitterness is meant to be used. It's part of our long term vision to understand how we've been victimized but the trick is to break the cycle...and then rise up and dig the beauty of our people. Refuse to be a victim (Katz, 1977:170-171). Healing from this residential school experience will provide the necessary ingredients of happiness, encouragement, and hope to strengthen and renew the Native community in restoring essential child-rearing patterns. The vision of the family can be recaptured and the elders will guide in this restoration. ) REFERENCES Ahenakew, Edward. 1973 Voices of The Plains Cree. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, Ltd. 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Johnston, Basil, H. 1988 Indian School Days. Toronto: Kay Porter Books Limited. Kahtou 1989 "Healing Residential Wounds", by Phil Lucas. Monday, August 7, 1989, Vol. 7(15), p. 9. Kersey, Harry A., Jr. 1980 "Federal schools and acculteration among the Florida Seminoles, 1927-1954". Florida Historical Quarterly, 59(2): 165-181. Kirk, Ruth 1986 Wisdom of the Elders. Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre, in association with The British Columbia Provincial Museum. Lane, Phil, Ph.D. 1989 Healing the Hurts: Residential Schools. Video, Phil Lucas Productions. Lewis, Claudia, L. 1970 Indian Families of the North West Coast: the Impact of Change. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. MacDonald, John A. 1985 The child welfare programme of the Spallumcheen Indian Band in British Columbia, in Levitt and Wharf (eds.), The Challenge Of Child Welfare. Vancouver: UBC Press. i 93 Malloch, Lesley. 1984 Dene Government Past and Future. Altona, Manitoba: Friesen & Son. Manuel, George, and Michael Posluns. 1974 The Fourth World. Canada: Collier-Macmillan Ltd. Martens, Tony. 1988 The Spirit Weeps. Edmonton: Nechi Institute. McKenzie, Brad, and Hudson, Pete. 1985 Native children, child welfare, and the colonization of Native people, in Levitt Kenneth L., and Wharf, Brian (eds.), The Challenge of Child Welfare. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. McNeil, John. D. 1 1977 Curriculum: A Comprehensive Introduction. Toronto: Little, Brown and Co. Medicine, Beatrice. i 1987 My elders tell me, in Barman, et al, Indian Education in Canada, Volume 2: The Challenge. 1988 Lecture, Vancouver School of Theology, Native Christian Consortium. Merton, Robert, K. 1968 Social Theory and Social Structure, 2nd ed. New York: Free Press. Metcalf, Ann. 1975 Miller, J.R. 1987 "From schoolgirl to mother: education on Navajo women". 23(5): 535-544. the effects of Social Problems, "The irony of residential schooling". Canadian Journal of Native Education, 14(2): 3-14. More, Janet, M.D. 1985 Cultural Foundations of Personal Meaning: Their Loss and Recovery. Unpublished Master's thesis, The University of British Columbia. Morey, Sylvester M., and Gilliam, Olivia. 1974 Respect for Life: The Traditional Upbringing of American Indian Children. New York: Myrin Institute Books. National Indian Brotherhood. 1972 Indian Control of Indian Education. Ottawa: National Indian Brotherhood. Nock, David, A. 1988 A Victorian Missionary and Canadian Indian Policy: Cultural Synthesis vs Cultural Replacement. Waterloo: Wilfred Laurier University Press. Published for the Canadian Corporation for Studies Religion/Corporation Canadienne des Sciences Religieuses. Northwest Indian Child Welfare Institute. 1986 Positive Indian Parenting: Honoring our Children by Honoring our Traditions. A model Indian Parent Training Manual. Northwest Indian Child Welfare Institute: Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. 97202. Ponting, Rick, J. 1986 Arduous Journey: Canadian Indians and Decolonization. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. Redford, James. 1979-80 "Attendance at Indian residential schools in British Columbia, 1890-1920". B.C. Studies, 44(Winter): 41-56. Red Horse, John, G. 1980 "Family structure and value orientation in American Indians". Social Casework, 61(10): 462-467. Robertson, Ian. 1977 Sociology. New York: Worth Publishers, Inc. Ryan, Joan 1973 Squamish Socialization. Department of Anthropology unpublished Doctoral Thesis, The University of British Columbia. Sainte-Marie, Buffy. 1977 Rejoice in our survival, in Jane B. Katz (ed.), I am the Fire of Time. New York: E.P. Dulton. 95 Spiller, Aiden Associates. 1984 I Am An Indian: The Circle of Leadership. Film. Winnipeg: Aiden Spiller Associates. Tobias, John L. 1983 Protection, civilization, assimilation: an outline history of Canada's Indian policy, in I.A.L. Getty, and A.S. Lussier (eds.), As Long As The Sun Shines And Water Flows: A Reader In Canadian Native Studies. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. Unger, Steven. 1977 The Destruction of American Indian Families. New York: Association on American Indian Affairs* Willis, Jane 1973 Genish: An Indian Girlhood. Toronto: New Press. ) APPENDICES f ( APPENDIX A: INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT Question 1 If you can remember your life before age six, can you tell me something about your relationships with your mother and father, and what they taught you? I still remember what my parents (neegeegwac) taught me before I was six. Neegeegwac (my parents) taught me to be kind to human beings, never to be disrespectful to anyone, and not to tell untruths. All those things that are not good I was told not to do, such as stealing, lying, and being mean or unkind. I was taught at an early age by my mother (nimama) how to work. I brought in the chopped wood and looked after the stove. I also helped my sisters to haul the water from the river; I carried small pails for this chore. I was also taught how to say my prayers and to keep my faith in the Creator. All these things I learned when I was very young. As I got older, and understood more, other things were added to my knowledge. I was taught how to prepare the wood for the fire and how to sew. My mother (nimama) taught me all these things as she spoke Cree to me. I mended my clothes if they were torn, and I learned how to mend my moccasins. She patiently taught me through different stages of my life. Eventually, when I reached puberty, the emphasis shifted to men's work. Then I did everything that my father did such as preparing the fish 98 nets. We fished for our food. In those days we used to make our own fish nets, and if they tore, I would mend the nets. I learned how to prepare the wood for the snowshoes I made for myself. My mother did all these things, and so, she taught me. I was taught to mend the boat by using spruce gum. I first had to learn how to make the spruce pitch from the gum. I had to scrap it off the tree, you know. Spruce pitch had many uses in everyday repairs such as mending canoes that leaked. I learned all these effectively and in a good way. As a result I was never in need of anything all my life. Question. What did you learn before the age of six? Those are all the things I learned that I am talking about. I was taught only certain things at first, but as I got older I was taught more because I could handle more. This even included praying on my own; praying every night and each morning. I was taught to be kind to human beings and animals, all living things; to respect people, and to be honest. I learned all these traditions in Cree. Everybody spoke Cree at that time. They were not too many people who spoke English. This was when I was the age of six, I can still remember that. There were so few who spoke English at this time; however, the parents did not speak this language to their children. Traditionally, they spoke only Cree to awassisuk (children) and to each other. Those who spoke English never spoke it at home. The only place they spoke English was where there were white people. Both my parents spoke Cree. They knew only just a small amount of English. My mother worked in town. Both my parents learned this language, it must have been in school, because I remember them talking about being in school for a short while, in a day school on the reserve. They were also able to write their names and read a little bit of English, but it was really not very much. However, they were very good in reading and writing Cree syllables. They both mastered this skill of reading and writing Cree syllables very well. In fact, they were also able to teach me how to read and write Cree syllables very well. This was a long time before I was a man. It happened when I was older, about eight or nine years old, when I had an accident; I had cut my foot with an axe. I was not able to walk for quite awhile. So to pass the time away they taught me to read and write the syllabics. As a matter of fact, in just one week, I was already able to write the alphabet. I wrote them a letter. Question. Tell me about your sisters or other family members? My sisters helped me a lot and I think they looked after me very well. They were the first that I helped when I first started to work inside the house. This included washing the dishes, I would dry the dishes after they had washed them. My first job I remember was to hold the dustpan for my sisters after they had swept the floors. My mother worked in town. Question. How many were in your family? cipo> Lots of us. My aunts, uncles, and cousins; we all lived close together. In my home, four of us; two sisters and three boys, but one sister was already married and she lived close by. My two brothers were older. While I was at residential school they both were already dead. We used to all go away together, as a family, in the fall. My father (Notawi) would go trapping, and of course, we all went with him. After I was married I lived near my parents, but I moved later. Question 2 At residential school you were forced to stay away from your parents and a home life you knew. How did the absence of your parents and your extended family members affect you? The residential school was only seven miles from my reserve. We were never allowed to go home whenever we wanted to. Sometimes on a Saturday, once or twice a month, we could go home. But we sneaked home a lot. We would run away. We did this just to eat. We were constantly hungry at school because we were not fed well at all. This is where I started to lose that good training I had been taught earlier; to respect all humans, to be kind to people, not to swear, steal, or lie. These were the good things I was taught while I was growing up at home. Regretfully, it couldn't happen this way because it was not possible for me to practice these teachings at residential school. We never had enough of anything that was good. I was aware that nobody there at the school loved me as my parents did. We were all left to ourselves, to protect ourselves in any way we could. This is where I strayed from the path of my parents' teachings. I also lost respect for the dignity of human beings. It was all because people there, the staff, didn't treat us very well. There was absolutely nobody there that I could ever trust or loved us. This is where I put aside the teachings of my parents. I was lonely. It was because I wanted to live with my parents and relatives. But mainly, because we were not taken good care of. We did, however, play a lot. We learned games such as baseball, soccer, hockey, high jump, hop-step-and-jump, all those things that white children were taught to play. As well we were taught different kinds of drills, like the soldiers. In fact, all of us had uniforms for this training. We wore the uniforms for drill. We, also, had old army rifles. As soon as a young boy reached fourteen years, he was taught to do this marching and rifle practice. Once in a while the army officers would come to the school to check up on our progress. The uniforms were quite nice. They were blue, with a red strip down the side of the trousers and on the shoulders. The jackets had brass buttons. We had berets, too. When we marched, we marched with the rifles. We were taught everything on drill, including the *slope arms', but we didn't have firing teams. We were also taught to shoot targets, but not with the army rifles. We used the .22 02> rifles for target shooting. We even competed against other residential schools in target shooting, our targets were sent around, because we didn't go personally. Twice I won the Lord Strathcona button for getting the highest marks. We marched three times a week, after supper, in winter and summer. We usually did not start our marching until October though. I don't know what the girls learned. We were so busy working [at school]. We didn't really have much of a summer holiday, about 5 or 6 weeks. We were hurried back to the school to make hay, collect the vegetables, and clean up the garden. All this took a long time. After the vegetables were put away, we had to prepare the ground for the next year's replanting. Spreading manure, all that stuff. These were some of the things we did. These are the things that I really appreciate the residential school teaching me. We went to school only half a day. The other half we would work. The things I learned about working I found useful and I appreciate. I had to be at the barn at six o'clock every morning, no matter what the weather was like, to look after the horses, the chickens, and the other animals. We had to get the horses ready; put bridles and harness on them, so they would be ready to begin work at eight o'clock. Everything was timed. We children did all this work ourselves. We planted the gardens, picked the wood, chopped it, and haul it into the school furnace room. We sawed the wood for the kitchen stove. The school used so many kinds of wood stoves, they were all in the cib.3 basement. I was so thankful that I was able to continue to do some of the work my parents first taught me. The school reinforced these teachings of my parents. That is what kept me in earning a living. I was never sorry to get up early in the morning, all I thought of was my work. Even today, I am still like that. I cannot sleep once dawn appears. As a child I was taught by my parents to get up early, not to sleep long into the morning. I do not regret this training that was reinforced at the school. However, I am sad that we were not kept well or not cared for. That is what got in my way about trying to live a good life in a good way. It was impossible to live that way at the school. Nobody cared personally for us, and no one taught us children how to behave to each other. Yes, we learned certain things but not those things that make life worthwhile. You grew up on your own. The type of parenting or care the school gave was inadequate. It didn't do any of the children any good. This is where I strayed and life went wrong for me. Question. Were you taught any Native games? No, are you serious? Question. When did the change occur in the way children were trained, that you recall? Children are raised very differently today from the way I was trained. The things we were asked to do as children, we had to do them right away. We were taught to be obedient and to listen. We didn't do things later or when we felt like it. If I continued to do what I was doing after I had 104 been asked to help, my father or mother would take a big stick, and say, "Go and do what I asked you to do right now?*. The stick was not used, but it was a good threat as I got older. That's why I think we listened and did what we were told. It is not that way today. Children are rude to their parents, are disobedient, and are not helpful with work. We couldn't do that as youngsters. This kind of training was reinforced at the school. We were never told more than once to do something, just as at home. However, those times I am discussing were much simpler then. I am thankful that the things that are occurring now did not happen to me as a child, especially the speaking of the English language, TV, and all those things that the white people brought us. This is what the young people today imitate. This is not right. Those things we were given to us by our elders and parents before the white man came, are all the teachings we should cherish. The elders had teachings that were given to them to teach them how to survive off the land and live in a good way. Children were told stories to teach a lesson. Now the arrival of the white and his teachings have upset everything. A person cannot hang onto two cultures. He can only be true to one of those cultures. This is what is wrong. It isn't possible to use all our elders' teachings now, but we can still try to use those things that we can. Our culture will give us the things that make it possible to for us to live well, it serves us adequately. The old way, some of the -1.05 traditional ways that really worked for families, are those story-telling lessons for kids. It is possible for us to relearn these in English, but it is much better to learn them in Cree. I avoid using English. It is like we help ourselves to lose our language when we refuse to use Cree. When we don't teach our children these teachings in our language, we help to lose or destroy our culture. It is much better for us to hang onto our Cree. I was aware that things changed from boarding school times. There is a difference between those who went to boarding school and those that didn't go to boarding school. Those that didn't go to residential school are like the old people who taught the traditional way of raising children. They taught their children Cree. They used to wear traditional clothing made from skins, especially moccasins. Those that went to residential school tried to live in two cultures and not doing so well in either. We were taught one thing at residential school, to forget our culture; and we also tried to hang onto the teachings of our parents. I also tried to do this with my children. I tried to teach my parents' way; however, the white man's teachings from residential school got in the way. Confusion set in as I tried to live in two cultures. The values of the two cultures are not compatible. What happened is the white culture overtook ours because residential school weakened us so much by causing us to feel ashamed, and also, caused some of us not to value Native culture. 106 Question. Why did you retain your language? In my young days everybody spoke Cree on the reserve. Also,, the children that were sent earlier to residential school received an inferior education. Again later, when the children were sent to different boarding schools, many of them spoke different Native languages at these schools. For instance, at where my children went, there was more than one Indian language spoken by the children. This made it easier for the children to practice English because it was how they communicated with each other. This meant they picked up English quicker, but it meant losing their own Native language quicker, too. There were different dialects; not everyone could understand; and so, English was acquired easier. For those of us who went to school, we all spoke only Cree. Even those from the North, and those from Saskatchewan. This is the main reason why I did not lose my language, and the same for those who went to that school. But for my children, they went further away from their relatives and reserve; and also, by this time, many children, other than my own, had already lost their Native language before going to residential school. But for us, at school, our parents spoke Cree to us and all the kids spoke the same Cree. I also consider the inferior education I received there at school. Our English was not good. Those at : spoke English with each other. Many of them, my own children included, continued to speak the English language to each other when they came home for the summer holidays. But I am proud to say that all my children still retain their Cree. Unfortunately, though, all my grandchildren do not speak Cree. They lost the language. Except for my youngest son who did not go to residential school. All his children speak Cree. This is where this change has come from the residential school. My children learned their lessons well about Cree not being important, and so, they in turn, did not teach their children. This is where the change in child-rearing patterns began to emerge. Question. Didn't distance have something to do with it? We were too far away to visit, or our parents couldn't visit us either. Yes. The school I went to, where I learned the white culture, was not a place to get a good education. I sent my children to so they could learn to make a good living for themselves through their education. I even encouraged my children to stay where they found something or a position where they could earn a living and not return to the reserve. That is what I learned about the white man's culture. The staff did this at the school. Some came from far away, England, even. If they found something they did not return to their own community. I passed this knowledge onto my children. If I hadn't seen this or learned of it, I wouldn't have encouraged my children to do this. I am grateful that all my children have been able to make a good living. I am happy about that. I see so many of my neighbours whose children do not respect them or take care of them. Their adult children bring their children to live with them. They are not independent. Consequently, these old people find it very different as they are expected to raise their grandchildren. I am often asked why this has not happened to me. Question. Why is this so? Well, of course, it was the way I wanted my children to be, independent "and productive, and not have to live with me. Question 3 Culture is rooted in the language of a people. Tell me how your experiences with your language at residential school affected your ability as a parent? We were not allowed to use Cree in the school, but we did use it outside the school. As we walked along the school, we could speak it, the church was a bit of a walk from the school building, you see. No one could speak Cree inside the school building. There were so many times that I got a licking for using my language. Question. What do you mean? I was constantly being strapped for speaking Cree. When we were getting the strap, the one administering the strap, would say, "Thou shalt not speak Cree". With each word he spoke he would strap us. I figured out that it was with all the letters in those words that we were strapped, because it was usually twenty-one times. The other families? Well, today, some children are not well looked after. So many are left alone without supervision. The parents go and play Bingo almost every night. Question. Why? It seems Indian parents can't love their children or nurture them. Question. They don't know how? I don't know. Of course, lots are devoted to their little ones and stay home; however, many who leave their children alone don't appear to love them or feel responsible. A long time ago I foretold this, when I first saw it happening. I said that it was not good to leave children unattended. Children unsupervised will do anything because there is no adult to show them right from wrong. Even when a child is with parents, they naturally want to do things that are not good for them. So you can imagine what children do with no guidance. Before residential school life parents did not do this, leave children unsupervised. Even siblings were given this responsibility as my sisters looked after me when my mother worked in town. Now leaving children alone is common. This is something they learned at residential school and they continue to live their lives like this. Has residential school life gone full circle? Those many nights children were left unattended behind locked doors in the dormitories may be a reason. I don't know. Clio The white culture interfered with our child-rearing patterns and now our people have to keep looking to see what the white culture offers family life so they can raise their children the same way. Before Native parents raised their children the way they were taught or observed their parents. This was traditional. That is the reason why they were so strong. But when the white man took it upon himself to give us an education by their system we became very confused. We lost our good ways. However, it is encouraging that the young people have started to think about what happened and are trying to set it right again. The elders have always known what happened and they did their best to preserve the culture as they understood it to be good for us. I view it all as if we are in a great storm. Certainly the way we have lived appears as though we were scattered from the storm. I am hopeful, though, that the storm is passing, but I fear the process of restoration is going to be slow. I believe the storm will subside when the young people go back to the old way, and once that happens, we will find ourselves. The elders have always said this. I myself have said this often. We need to go back and hang onto those ways which served us well, including the speaking of Cree. To me this is the most crucial obligation we have to face. Why? Because it is impossible for anyone to say they are Canadian Indians if they do not speak their native language. They cannot convince anyone anywhere in this world that they are Indian Ill if they cannot speak their own language. There are many people that have come to our country from other cultures. If we don't speak Cree any of these people might be convinced that we also came from somewhere else, too. But if you speak Cree, no one can ever say that about you. For certain they will know that you are an Canadian Cree Indian. It is vital to pass on those things our elders taught us. They were taught the same things by their grandfathers. We cannot be anything but Indian, no matter how hard we try. The culture of the white man is not ours. This is not what we inherited. The same goes for our religion. We were given our own by the Great Spirit. However, the white people brought their Bible with them. Not only that, they placed along with their Bible the alcohol. These two things the white man introduced to us. Yes, the Indians took the Bible. We followed its teachings, and we believed in it but we also took the drink [the wine at communion] that the white man brought. The two things are not compatible at all. Liquor has destroyed our race, ruined a lot of good Indians. There was no liquor until the white man came to our land. I know it is possible to turn the situation around. I recently saw the film on Alkali Lake. It was an inspiration. Those people realized that they could not hold onto two cultures. They had to go back and find themselves through their Native culture. It was in discovering their identify and their culture that they became strong again. 112 Not only Alkali Lake can do it, all of us Native people can as well. We can do this, if only we go back to our ways, and our own language. Question 4 Children learn child-rearing patterns from the way they are cared for. In what ways do you think your children were affected because of your own childhood experiences at residential school? Residential school life confused me. I wasn't prepared for the experience at residential school. My parents didn't say why they put me in school. They just, one day, said, "You are going to go to School". My parents raised me in a kind and loving way. I was not treated like this in school, not loved or cared for. These different ways in which the raising of children was viewed at school, was why I went astray. I never said I was better than anybody else, and I never bragged about the way I raised my children because it was not easy to show my children the same things my parents taught me as a child. I guess it was that the residential school took me away from my culture and forced me to think in a different way. I think I was not always able to be a good example to my children about the way in which they should lead their lives. But my children have watched me and they have seen me work steadily to support them. However, I was never able to sit down with them and say, "This is how to do things" like my parents did to me. 113 I was not able to do this because of all those residential school experiences that were so bad that they confused me so much. It caused me to lose sight of the many good traditional patterns that my parents taught me earlier before school. The white person raised me for a short time. They taught me how I should think about some things, but the staff erased those good things my parents taught me about caring and sharing. I never believed I was a good person. I had to steal food to survive, and I learned to lie and swear to protect myself. I felt I had nothing substantial to pass onto my children, that's why I didn't show them or teach them my parent's traditional ways. I lost those teachings of my parents while I was at school. As a result, I think the only example my children saw is that I was always working, earning a living, to support myself and them. APPENDIX B: INTERVIEW WITH BEVERLY Question 1 If you can remember your life before age six, can you tell me something about your relationships with your mother and father, and what they taught you? I don't remember much about my life before age six because I was sent away to boarding school when I was age three so I don't remember that much about my childhood. In fact, I don't remember anything about my relationships with my parents. Question 2 At residential school you were forced to stayed from your parents and a home life you knew. How did the absence of your parents and your extended family members affect you? At residential school, I guess there really wasn't much parenting that I can remember. There was never any *old person' that I ever felt comfortable with that I could go and see. I always felt that there was no one there for me, no on that cared about me. That was really difficult. I never got to see much of my brothers in boarding school. Sometimes I felt that as a result of this separation, we, our lives, were sort of split; the older siblings and brothers had no contact with the younger ones for ten months of the year. If we spoke with our own brothers, the staff and kids would accuse us of chasing boys. It was like getting re-acquainted all over again with my siblings, parents, and grandparents in the summer when I went home. The staff and kids would accuse us of chasing boys if we spoke with them, our own brothers. As I got older, I no longer felt that my parents knew anything because of all the negative things that were said about Indian people at boarding school. Sometimes I felt that I knew more than my parents, especially my mother, because she couldn't speak English well. I expected all parents should know how to speak English. Although, now I know that we spoke Cree all the time at home, during the summer holidays, before Grade nine, that was when we spoke a lot of Cree. I just knew my parents were different. Different from what it was like in boarding school. It was living in two different worlds all the time, continually having to adjust. It was hard trying to make sense of the two lives we had to live, one at home, one at residential school. At residential school we were told to do everything, there was never any choice in anything we did. All of it was so regimental it was hard to realize you were a person of your own who could make choices. Then, when we went home, it wasn't like that. We had to obey, do things right now, but one wouldn't be beaten if we didn't do them right away. There were consequences if one didn't do things right away that were really important, too. An example is, 116 if I didn't put the soup out on the table right away, then when'the younger children came in from play to eat, they couldn't eat right away because the soup would be too hot. They would burn their mouths if they couldn't wait. X found it hard living within those two worlds. Each environment demanded certain standards. The expectations were different in each. My parents loved me at home; at residential school, no one cared... No one parented me at residential schools I remember my older sister always being there. All the staff were always so mean; there was never any love or care demonstrated to me that I remember. The only affection we ever got was from one another, I mean, from my sisters. Question 3 Culture is rooted in the language of a people. Tell me how your experiences with your language at residential school affected your ability as a parent in any way? As I went to residential school at so young an age, I don't remember speaking Cree. I do remember the other children there being punished, though, for speaking Cree. Some were strapped, or smacked around. Leaving my parents at age three, so young, I learned how to speak English early, I guess. I lost my ability to speak Cree for awhile. I re-gained it though. My oldest sister told me that we were taken out of residential school, my twin sister and I, by my father. Apparently, when we were losing the language, so he took this action for us to regain Cree. I went with my grandparents to the trapline that year, as well. The next year, we went back to residential school. I remember staying home some years from residential school, and going to the trapline with my parents. At the trapline, some years we went with my parents, another time with grandparents. But generally, it was with others of my extended family, sometimes with a married cousin. We always spoke Cree at the trapline. I came from a large family, so there was always someone left at home who was not at residential school, that went to the trapline in the fall and spring. I don't remember going every year. But we did go a lot. When I went with my grandparents I knew that they couldn't speak English, so the only way to communicate with them was in Cree. As I became a teenager, I was aware that I was not so fluent in Cree. I remember, then, being embarrassed because I wasn't able to pronounce the words properly in front of my relatives. I felt embarrassed for that. More so than not being able to speak English. That was more important to me, to be able to communicate with my relatives. In order for me to communicate with my elders I had to speak Cree well. The embarrassment of not being able to do this right sticks in my mind. However, at residential school, I do remember that already some students were coming in not being able to speak Cree. Do you know that about those who did not speak Cree, I had felt a little envious of them because they had lost Cree? They only spoke English. But once back in my own community or reserve, X don't remember ever feeling envious then. I remember always wanting to impress the elders by communicating with them in Cree, and feeling good that I could it. Others at residential school felt that speaking Cree was not of much value. A lot of them felt that speaking English was the only way that they were going to be able to get along in school, and outside of it. A lot of students felt that way. It was generally the impression we were given from the staff. Question. Can traditional ways be maintained if language is lost? By the time I was four or five I had probably lost my Cree. My parents took me out to the trapline with my grandparents to regain the language. As I said, my older sister told me this. Cree was the only language spoken there. My grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives who were there at the trapline, all spoke only Cree. It didn't take long for me to pick it up again. In my family, my parents left me with the impression that maintaining the language was very important. That's why Cree was spoken in our home. There was never any question about the importance of the language. My father always wanted us to speak it because it was an important part of how we lived. My mother seldom spoke any English, only to white people, but never to another Indian person. She, in fact, 119 didn't want us learning English. I often remember her saying that because we went to residential school, we came back with all these bad behaviours, such as being rude, talking back, being disrespectful to people by not waiting my turn to speak, and walking in front of elders. She saw all these things were not good. If she had her own way we wouldn't have kept going back there. She would have kept us at home. My father knew the importance of a good education and because of this, we kept going back to residential school. But, always, through this, he expected us to maintain our language. And we did. I don't remember being punished for speaking Cree at school, but I must have been, because I certainly wasn't different from anybody else there. And lots were punished for speaking Cree. I was ridiculed a lot for being an Indian, and I guess, that's partly punishment for speaking the Cree language. I remember a lot of things, especially the teachers being cruel. Once a girl was asked to open the window. She had to get a stick to do it because it was one of those transom windows that opened from the top. This was in Grade four, so she was probably short. When she opened the window, the glass cracked and fell on the floor. She got a good licking from the teacher in front of all the class. The teacher ended by saying to her, "Now we have to put cardboard over the window, and I suppose that will make you feel right at home." On another occasion, this same teacher 120 heard a little girl crying out in the hallway. She went out, brought her into the class, and threw her down on the floor. I often used to wonder if these same people who taught us did the same to their children. But I figured out that they did not. They only treated us that way because of who we were; only because we were Native children. I grew up thinking that this was the only way Native children were treated. I never had any affection from anyone there. My parents and grandparents were always kind to us. When I was raising my children, my grandparents were my role models on loving and gentleness. The people on the reserve were always kind to us when we were young. Nobody hit us. People took the responsibility of keeping us in line. They didn't allow us to be disrespectful. I knew it would get back to my parents if we were rude or did anything wrong. If we were bad, my parents would scold me. I did love my children, I hugged them and held them a lot. I stayed home with them because I felt it was important that they have a stable environment in their formative years. I wanted them to have a home. I never had anyone around to look after me when I was little or when I was growing up. That's why I stayed home with them. But I came to realize that if it had been different we could have this good home life, too. The love and nurturing would have been there. My parents did this when they could. Certainly my grandparents let us know how important we were, that there was never anything they wouldn't have done for us. I 121 felt that same way about my own children. Even though, I did yell at my daughter a lot, and I regret I caused her a lot of pain. I know that I always loved her and my son dearly. Just remembering my grandparents and how they treated us, influenced and helped me. All my relatives treated children with kindness and understanding when we were home. One of the things I didn't share was why I didn't teach my children Cree. I should have. When my son was four years old I realized that I should have been speaking Cree to both of them. One of the excuses I used was that their father didn't speak Cree. But I was home with my children all day. I rationalized that if they spoke Cree at home they wouldn't have had anyone else to speak to because we were a military family and there was no contact with any Cree speaking people. I knew this was so wrong by the time my son was four. I did try to teach him. He could understand me in Cree, but by the time he started school it was too late. My only excuse was that they wouldn't use it anywhere else. I told myself they wouldn't be able to speak with their dad. But they would have been bilingual. Did I think the language inferior? I can't say. I did try hard to maintain the language as a teenager. No one on the reserve spoke English that much in those days. My cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents all spoke only Cree. If I hadn't been able to speak Cree I would have felt just as ostracized there as I did at residential school for not 122 speaking English. It was important to maintain that Cree so I could speak to people on my reserve. Question 4 Children learn child-rearing patterns from the way they are cared for. In what ways do you think your children were affected because of your childhood experiences? One of the things that I experienced there at residential school did affect my children; they suffered because of it. I expected perfection from my two children. Everything had to be done at a certain time, and done in a certain way. Probably my daughter suffered the most because she was the older one. At residential school, we had to fold clothes, and they had to be folded just so. Those are the same things that I expected from my daughter. Everything had to be orderly. It wasn't right. I know this know, but I didn't then. This was not the way that I remember my grandmother teaching me> but she was always kind and so gentle when she asked me to do anything, more so than my mother was. No harsh words were ever spoken when I didn't do things right. She would just tease me. Her teasing was her way of telling me that I didn't do the task right. I had to do it right until her teasing stopped. I expected so much from my daughter that was not age- appropriate. I remember always yelling at my daughter, because I wanted her to do things immediately, right now, 123 and to do it right. This was how I was trained at residential school, with the constant yelling. After I yelled, I knew I hurt her feelings; then, I would try to make up in my behavior to her. I'm sure she was often confused because of my actions. She was always getting different messages from me. I would be yelling at her, and then the next moment I would try to be a good mom by hugging, her. This must have been awfully confusing for her as a child. I didn't know I could actually enjoy children as I was training them. With my second child, a son, I enjoyed parenting a lot more. Maybe I was smart and sensible by then. My daughter was strong willed. She always wanted to do things her own way. Whereas, my son, was passive and gentle. He was a good baby, a good child. Maybe it was because I became confident in handling children and realized there were different ways in child-rearing, or he was different, I don't know. There's no doubt about it, my child-rearing practices adversely affected my older one who later became anorexic. She knew or felt we expected perfection from her; she felt that she had to be perfect in school, looks, and all that, including her ways of dressing. I'm sure it's partly because of the child-rearing that I had subjected her to that caused this disorder. I perceived that I was only doing what I learned, in that I was trained this way at residential school, I'm sure of that. It's hard reflecting, I'm sorry. 124 APPENDIX C: INTERVIEW WITH SALINA Question 1 If you can remember your life before age six, can you tell me something about your relationships with your mother and father, and what they taught you? My parents both went to residential school. They separated before I was born so I was raised by my mother and my grandmother. I was raised like an only child for most of my life. I was the central part of my mother's life because my Dad took the other children. I was given a lot of independence at a real young age. I don't remember my mother giving me too much direction when I was smaller. I have just a few early memories of my mom. She was separated from her children; it was really traumatic for her as she was really close to her children, and she did provide for them when she was with my Dad. She talked about how she provided for her children and for them to be taken away from her was very tragic (for her). When she was going through that phase, she brought me to my grandmother. In this way, my grandmother was the stabilizer in my life. I am really grateful for that time that I spent with my grandmother. She was the one that gave me what little Indian language that I have now. I was quite fluent before I went to residential school. I'm grateful that my grandmother left me with that gift. The times I can remember when I was with 125 my mother, it seemed like, there wasn't any strict discipline. I don't remember being punished. She would scold me, but never strapped me or anything like that. It was the same way with my grandmother. There was not that kind of discipline either. She would tell me what not to do. If I went ahead and did it, I knew I shouldn't have done it; and just by the way she looked at us, I could tell from the body language, that I had disobeyed. She didn't have to use harsh words, I knew that disobeying was not right. She didn't make me feel guilty. I really respected her. She was the stabilizer in our family. An example of independence would be when my grandmother and I were out in the field. I would be all over the place, sometimes with her, or just roaming all over, or playing by myself. We lived in a wilderness, there were wild animals around. There was a river there. My grandmother would tell me about the dangers around the places, and tell me not to wander. She also would tell me stories sometimes to scare me as why I should not to go to a certain place. Just enough to keep me around her. It was up to me. She worked real hard in her garden. She was the provider for her family; her adult children and her grandchildren. She never demanded that I help her weed her garden. It was a lot of work for her. She could have insisted, and told me to do the work, and not be lazy. But she didn't. She was an example of hard work. That was how she delivered her message to me. It was up to me if I wanted to help her. When I did help her, she would 126 really praise me for it. She would emphasize how much I had helped her by saying "This is how much you've weeded, look at all the work you've done". She'd get a big charge out of it. She made a big deal out of it although it wasn't much effort of my part. After that I'd go swimming or whatever. My parents had separated before I was born. My brothers and sisters stayed with my dad, and I was raised by my mother. My dad was Catholic, my mom was originally Anglican, so I was baptized Anglican. As a result of this, my brothers went to a Catholic residential school, and I went to an Anglican one. I was separated again from my family for another twelve years. Because I was the only child my mother had for awhile, I contribute the added support she gave me to her. When I was really young she had said to me "You are going to go to school, and finish, and then you are going to be a nurse or a teacher". I can remember her always encouraging me, and I believed it. I actually told people that this is what my mother said. I remember at residential school, when a supervisor was unkind, I said to her, "Do you know what I am going to be when I grow up? I am going to be a teacher or a nurse. That's what I'm going to be". I remember the supervisor laughing about it. My mother only told me that once. It made such an impact on me. She didn't have to prompt me to stay in school. She had such high hopes for me to stay in school, if I didn't stay in school, she would have been so disappointed. And there was no way that I was going to 127 disappoint her. I appreciate how my mother didn't harp on it and say, get back in school. She just said it once, and that was enough. Some of the times my aunt would stay with me, my grandmother and I, when my mother left. I was six or seven then. I went to residential school at eight. My aunt went to a residential school, too. She was a jovial person. We were close but she never showed me any outward affection. But I still liked being around her. My aunt had emotional problems and an unstable marriage. I was older than her children so I was like a sister to those children, their caretaker at a really young age, responsible for a baby, and two others. I was barely big enough to reach the stove to cook anything. I would keep the lamp on all night because we were afraid, all of us were in a big bed. Question 2 At residential school you were forced to stay away from your parents and a home life you knew. How did the absence of your parents and your extended family members affect you? It made my brothers and sisters strangers to me. I .found there was no strong bond among my older brothers and sisters. It has just been within the last ten years that I have gotten to know them. It was just fortunate that I had an older cousin who went to the same school I did. She was older, but at least, there was someone there for me. She 128 became a sister to me. My other brothers and sisters went to another school. Because of this separation, we were strangers. We still feel we have to make up for lost time. There is a bond but we still have to make an effort to become closer. I have yet another set of siblings that I have to get to know, from my dad's second marriage. How did it affect me? I can remember being so lonely, often wishing that my mother would come and visit me, or even just write me a letter. I remember having dreams of her sending me things, or a letter. If someone from the reserve came, I would ask about my mother, and tell them to ask her to come down and see me. In residential school, you were just one person. There was no sharing. Everybody had their own things, own locker, own share of whatever food you were given to eat. Everything was distributed to you. You got to believe there was no room for sharing. When some kids got parcels from home, it was theirs alone and I don't recall too many children sharing what they got. I think because of the way everything was distributed, and everything was numbered, clothes and books, you began to think about things as belonging to you. That's what I think has caused our people to lose the value of sharing because I notice now that in my family, it's really hard for them to work together. Some family members don't believe in helping each other. That causes conflict and alienation. I just realized recently why my family is like that. It was because of residential school. We don't value taking care 129 of each other anymore; everything you had at residential school, you prized; and sometimes when people took away very precious things you really felt it because you didn't have many privileges, not too many special things there. So the precious things you had, you really guarded. I think this is what broke the unity in our community. Those people with this residential school experience still hang onto this concept of not sharing. It's hard to break out of that mold. About visiting, even though the residential school was nearby, many parents didn't come to visit. Those who did come, it was so neat, all of us were so excited. Even if we didn't know those parents, we were just so glad to see an outsider come to the school. But it was also sad, when the parents did come to visit. The visit was so rigid. What else did we have to do on weekends, why couldn't they spend the whole day with us? The staff dictated how the visit should be. Why weren't we allowed to go for walks, and spend the whole day together, go for a walk around the grounds, or wherever? We were just made to visit and sit in this little room off the office. Because we hadn't seen each other in such a long while it took awhile for us to get comfortable with each other, we felt like strangers for awhile. I don't recall many visits even from the local parents who lived nearby. They weren't welcomed, they felt like they were being scrutinized. Once when my mother came to see me I remember a supervisor making a hurting comment lie because my mother smelled from the wood fires we had at home. The way the supervisors spoke to us, they always seemed to devalue what our parents tried to give us from home. It was never good enough. Our visiting was supervised with a time limit as parents were not encouraged to stay long. Question 3 Culture is rooted in the language of a people. Tell me how your experiences with your language at residential school affected your ability as a parent in any way? I was not proud of my Indianness. One particular supervisor always talked about "dirty old Indians". I wasn't very proud to be an Indian by the time I left residential school. I never spoke my language at residential school because I didn't want to. I denied my Indianness for so long. I noticed that some children had strong Indian accents, and they were ridiculed so much. The accents were maintained because these children spoke their own Native language. I didn't try to speak my language anymore because I didn't want to sound that way. I went through a phase of denial after I left school. Even my friends or those I associated with were non-Native. I went through a period when I didn't value my language. It's only since I've been going to University that I began to value the language. I'm grateful that my grandmother taught me; that time that I had with her, she left me with a precious gift of my language, and it's all here, in my heart. My son went through the same phase, too. He didn't want us, my husband and I, speaking the language. I told him not to be ashamed of his Indianness. He's changed now. He wants to speak it now. I am so grateful that he has changed his attitude. He's really proud of his heritage. The language is what gives me my identity, what makes me distinct, what identifies me. By speaking the language, people know you are Indian. Being Indian was not positive for me because of my residential school experiences. One supervisor in particular would ridicule us, call us all kinds of things. We were dirty, lazy, smelled, alcoholics. She made me ashamed of our people. It hurt. Yet, we were separated from our parents, so we couldn't prove to her that it was not that way. We were prepared to defend our parents. Because we were ridiculed for speaking our language, our language was connected to our Indianness, one way of denying that was not to speak the language. This way you could mix in with the mainstream. I never spoke my language for about ten years. Since I entered University I am surrounded by Native people that are saying we have to speak our language. We have to take this responsibility to learn it. I didn't value my language before, so I didn't teach my son. He should have had a lot of language by now, but I didn't want to teach him. He wasn't learning it from his grandparents either, although he spent a lot of time around 7005 them. This past year I've began to realize that if I don't give this to my son no one else will. So between my husband and I we've decided to speak our Native language to him and to each other in our home. I am hoping eventually that it will be the only language we will be speaking in our home. It's still in my heart. It just has to be practiced and used more. I prize my language. It is what is going to make me distinct, and give me that separate identity. What I really felt bad about was when an elder said, a long time ago there was a rope with many strands representing many people with a separate identify, and each rope strand represented them. They were all separate. And they came to an island and they became one. The rope started to intertwine and they became one. Now the rope is getting shorter and shorter. Hardly any people speak their language now. She said, "You have that strand [of language] still". I was really close to becoming part of that big strand with no separate identity. People look at me and think I am Indian. I have dark skin, I dress differently but I realized that if I don't have my language I no longer have that separate identity. That story the elder told about the rope made an impact on me and what I have to do to maintain my identity. In the time that's left I will do all I can to give my son his language. I have really changed my attitude about my language, and a generation of us who went to residential school have to raise the consciousness of our people about the importance of the language. If we continue 133 to devalue the language, our culture will be lost. Question 4 Children learn child-rearing patterns from the way they are cared for. In what ways do you think your children were affected because of your childhood experiences at residential school? When my mother was caring for me I was allowed a lot of freedom. As soon as I woke up [in the morning] I went out, and I came in at mealtime. As soon as I ate, I was off again. I didn't have to account for what I was doing, who I was playing with, whatever. I was pretty independent. She would say that if I didn't stay around, I would get left. I didn't want to miss out on anything, and to get left was one of the worse things that could happen to me, so I hung around. I don't recall my mother ever showing us any affection. She had this crazy notion that if she did that somehow if she did it was showing favoritism. When she was a child her dad provided this affection, but he died when she was quite young. She didn't have much of this from her own mother, so she didn't display affection to her children. I can remember raising my own son much the same way. He received that closeness from his dad. I took care of his physical needs, feeding, keeping him clean, bathing him, providing toys and his bottle. I was incapable of showing this closeness. I thought this was how to raise children. My son would play around, and I felt he was okay. I wasn't aware of what I was doing until this year, and I grieved about this. My grandmother sure was affectionate though. If we were injured she cuddled us. We all had a chance to sit on her knee. She displayed affection to her grandchildren that she couldn't display to her own children. I gave my child a lot of independence too. It's hard to pull in the reins now. My husband didn't go to residential school, and "I really notice the difference between us in how he cared for our son in infancy. There was that precious closeness, he was raised the same way. His mother showed them all a lot of affection, and told her children how much she loved them all the time. I don't ever recall my mother ever once telling me she loved me, it's only been recently, the last five years, that I've been able to say, "Mom, I love you." She says, "Yea, me, too". She can't say it yet, that word, LOVE. I tease her, and I hug her, and I say, "Mom, hugging you is like hugging a statue". She laughs, and says, "It's something I've never ever done". She's more comfortable with this now. My husband had this closeness with his mother. He and our child have this close bond. I didn't provide that same closeness. I wish I did now. He got that from his Dad. Neither of his parents went to residential school, and because of what they heard and saw about other's experiences, they refused to send their children. They had a tough life, but they never let the children go. My step- dad didn't go to residential school, and he was able to provide that warmth and closeness. We were close to him. My younger brothers and sisters were raised differently from us. They were allowed to have their childhood, as the parents took care of them. They didn't have to be home; they had more recreation time than I did. If we went berry picking, they weren't required to pick. I don't know what made my mother change, but I did notice the difference. Question 5 (This question is for the one who kept her children at home and raised them away from residential school). What determined your decision to raised your children yourself? When I was a child I could remember thinking how easy it was for my mother to leave me. I was so confused and lost and lonely because of this separation from her and I made up my mind my child would never leave me. My husband was raised without his mother getting baby-sitters. If she was out in the field, all the children would be there. When my husband had children, that's how he wanted to raise them. He never left his child anywhere. When I was about eight years old, my youngest brother was born. My mother was worried I would be jealous of him. She didn't have to worry. I loved that little guy and I willingly looked after him. When it came to go to residential school it was so painful for him in the way we were separated. He went one way and I went another way. I can remember his crying, he was so confused, he didn't know what was going on. He thought he was going to be with me, at my side. I felt like my own child was being taken away from me. For him it felt like his mother was being taken away from him. I felt so sad. There was such a closeness between my brother and I. But because of the way the kids were separated by age and sex, they teased each other, so he became embarrassed to acknowledge me. That closeness was cut because of the behaviour of the other children. It was not proper to talk to brothers and sisters. The supervisors didn't encourage it. They wanted the boys separated.


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