Friday, March 31, 2017

Truth and Beyak

I'm a free speech guy and tend to believe that the response to bad speech should be better speech, rather than silencing. And I'm not keen on throwing people out of the Senate for saying hurtful and unpopular things. But Senator Beyak has been testing my commitment to both those propositions.

For the next while, we are going to run here a series of short excerpts from the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.  I'm using Volume One: Summary, the edition published by James Lorimer Publishing, available in a solid paperback for under $30,. As the copyright page notes, the report is in the public domain. Anyone may reproduce all or part of it, and the full text is freely available online as well. (pdf format, Adobe Acrobat required)
Canada's residential school system for Aboriginal children was an education system in name only for much of its existence. These residential schools were created for the purpose of separating Aboriginal children from their families, in order to minimize and weaken family ties and cultural linkages, and to indoctrinate children into a new culture -- the culture of the legally dominant Euro-Christian Canadian society, led by Canada's first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.  (first sentences of the preface)
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