Residential Schools

My desk at about the halfway mark

Page 11, before completion

“When the school is on the reserve the child lives with its parents, who are savages; he is surrounded by savages, and though he may learn to read and write his habits, and training and mode of thought are Indian. He is simply a savage who can read and write. It has been strongly pressed on myself, as the head of the Department, that Indian children should be withdrawn as much as possible from the parental influence, and the only way to do that would be to put them in central training industrial schools where they will acquire the habits and modes of thought of white men.”

-Sir John A. Macdonald, House of Commons, 1883

Page 8, before completion

A snippet of page 13

The first zine in this series discusses the awful practice of the Canadian government with help from various churches, to steal Indigenous children away from their families in order for the "Indian" to be removed from them at industrial schools across the country. Many Canadians feel this is ancient history but this zine lays the foundation for every rebuttal to people who think we should all be over it by now.
With the current Ontario government rolling back all and any curriculum that could actually help students be empathetic, loving, informed and understanding individuals, talking about Indigenous history feels all the more important. If the government wishes to continue a practise of ignoring history (and current problems, let's be honest) then we need to get ragey and educate others, right?
This zine is 20 colour pages and stands 5.5"x 10.5" and to be honest, it's a difficult read at times as the lived experiences of survivors are heartbreaking but essential to hear. The pages are filled with experiences, facts, discussion questions and musings of how did this happen?! The zine concludes with questioning what is really needed for Reconciliation and is it even possible with the current initiatives?