Residential schools

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Mon Aug 21 13:47:24 MDT 2000

Yesterday afternoon subscriber Roland Chrisjohn was interviewed on Canadian
Broadcasting's radio show "Cross Country Checkup". The show is on their
archives at: (I had a
little bit of a problem with my RealAudio hookup. If you have any yourself,
contact me for advice.)

Even though the show's host is a typical public broadcasting nitwit, it is
worth putting up with her and the church officials who were interviewed
along with Roland because it is a good introduction to the issues. At the
turn of the century, as part on an attempt to gain control over indigenous
land and assets, the state and the church set up residential schools where
everything distinctly Indian was either taught to be rejected by Indian
children or beaten out of them, if they refused to go along.

In recent years, the truth about these schools have come out. Consequently
there are civil suits that threaten to bankrupt the churches, which was the
focus of the show: "Is it fair to bankrupt churches to pay for past
wrongs?" As one phone call put it, who cares if the church is financially
bankrupt if it is morally bankrupt to begin with. Roland deserves a medal
of honor for putting up with the thick-skulled interviewer. I urge folks to
check out the show and to read portions of Roland's book on the residential
schools titled "The Circle Game" online at I just reviewed
the print version for "Dark Night Field Notes" and can tell you that it is
essential reading for anybody interested in these questions which should be
anybody opposed to genocide.

Louis Proyect

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