Backgrounder



I Lost My Talk


I lost my talk
The talk you took away.
When I was a little girl
At Shubenacadie school.
You snatched it away:
I speak like you
I think like you
I create like you
The scrambled ballad, about my word.
Two ways I talk
Both ways I say,
Your way is more powerful.
So gently I offer my hand and ask,
Let me find my talk
So I can teach you about me.

Rita Joe, “I Lost My Talk,” from Song of Eskasoni. Copyright © 2007 by the Estate of Rita Joe. Reprinted by permission of the Estate of Rita Joe. Source: The Blind Man’s Eyes (Nimbus Publishing, 2015)

Residential Schools

The men with the white skin,
Brutally took the children away,
To be brought to their new schools,
On that awful, fateful day.

Taken away from their parents,
That they had known all of their life,
They were sent to a school,
So full of abuse and strife.

They learned very little from books,
Their education was cruel,
Boys were given shovels,
While the girls a thread and spool.

They were told their traditions were evil,
That their culture was wrong,
Their names were taken, records destroyed,
The shameful list goes on and on.

The Residential School was a lie,
It was nothing as it was imposed.
The government once denied it,
But the last school has now been closed,

Compensation has been made to survivors,
But the generations following, suffer too,
All because the white man,
Was given the power to decide what to do.

Prompt: Shamed into submission
I wrote this to depict how the white government managed to shame and degrade the aboriginal people through their use of Residential Schools. Anybody unaware of these schools and what happened should take the time to become educated on the matter. Perhaps through education, understanding will form. I worked in an aboriginal agency and worked very closely with residential school survivors. Their stories were shocking and disheartening. © 2 years ago, TiffanyClouthier




external image residential-school.jpg
http://nationalpost.com/news/politics/reconciliation-is-something-we-need-to-pay-attention-to-ontario-lg-unveils-residential-schools-exhibit


external image UnitedChurch_871.jpg
http://indigenousfoundations.web.arts.ubc.ca/the_residential_school_system/


external image 0104-missing-children.jpg?w=620&quality=60&strip=all
http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/at-least-4000-aboriginal-children-died-in-residential-schools-commission-finds

It is estimated that about 150,000 aboriginal, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their communities and forced to attend residential schools.
It is estimated that about 150,000 aboriginal, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their communities and forced to attend residential schools.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/a-history-of-residential-schools-in-canada-1.702280


Exterior view of Qu'Appelle Indian Industrial School in Lebret, District of Assiniboia, ca. 1885. Surrounding land and tents are visible in the foreground.
Exterior view of Qu'Appelle Indian Industrial School in Lebret, District of Assiniboia, ca. 1885. Surrounding land and tents are visible in the foreground.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Indian_residential_school_system#/media/File:Quappelle-indian-school-sask.jpg




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