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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Effects of residential schools on native child-rearing patterns Ing, N. Rosalyn


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 had.to 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.

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