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Residential Schools

This is an overhead shot of my incredibly messy desk, halfway through the production phase of the first issue of "Atrocities Against Indigenous Canadians for Dummies." There are papers and zine pages everywhere as well as my coffee cup, my moccasins in the whot. My table is a yellow, 1950's table and my chairs are chrome with blue vinyl

My desk at about the halfway mark

This is a snippet of page 11 of the zine before completion. It is one of the only black & white images in the zine and has a drawn self portrait of myself in it. The words details how children were forced to have their hair chopped off upon arriving at residential schools
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 It has been strongly pressed on myself, as the head of the Department, that Indian children should be withdrawn as much as possible from the parental influence, and the only way to do that would be to put them in central training industrial schools where they will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

This is a snippet of page 8 before completion. Everything in the image is black and white except for purple paited diamonds in the background. There are images of hands making shadow birds and a game of tic tac toe is to the left. The words are telling various experiences of children being forced to leave their parents at residential schools

Page 8, before completion

This is a section from the zine "Atrocities Against Indigenous Canadians for Dummies." This page is a collage and in the lower left hand has an image of a homemade satin stuffed angel. The cut out words, in courier font, are around the stuffie, and they described two story of church officials abusing two children while at a residential school
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?


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