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UBC Theses and Dissertations

I remind until I fall: an examination of space, memory and experience at the Coqualeetza Residential School and Indian hospital Woods, Jody


Through a theoretical and practical examination of how space is socially constructed and perceived, this study hypothesizes that the monolithically negative portrayal in the media and academic literature of the Indian residential school experience does not adequately reflect the full range of the experiences of all children at such institutions. A typology of spaces is constructed which establishes that concepts of gender, race and age impact the ways that institutions and institutional spaces are organized and perceived. This typology is applied to the Coqualeetza Residential School and the Coqualeetza Indian Tuberculosis Hospital in Sardis, BC for the period 1935 - 1950. Interviews were conducted with former Coqualeetza residents. Their comments, along with extant accounts of residential school experiences were examined within the context of this typology. The results reveal that, at Coqualeezta and at other residential schools, social constructions and personal perceptions of spaces affect and reflect peoples' experiences in profound ways. Examining such perceptions has revealed that residents' experiences and memories are heterogeneous, diverse and very personal.

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