A Knock on the Door

A Knock on the Door

The Essential History of Residential Schools From the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

Book - 2016 | Edited and abridged
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"It can start with a knock on the door one morning. It is the local Indian agent, or the parish priest, or, perhaps, a Mounted Police officer." So began the school experience of many Indigenous children in Canada for more than a hundred years, and so begins the history of residential schools prepared by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). Between 2008 and 2015, the TRC provided opportunities for individuals, families, and communities to share their experiences of residential schools and released several reports based on 7000 survivor statements and five million documents from government, churches, and schools, as well as a solid grounding in secondary sources.A Knock on the Door, published in collaboration with the National Research Centre for Truth & Reconciliation, gathers material from the several reports the TRC has produced to present the essential history and legacy of residential schools in a concise and accessible package that includes new materials to help inform and contextualize the journey to reconciliation that Canadians are now embarked upon.Survivor and former National Chief of the Assembly First Nations, Phil Fontaine, provides a Foreword, and an Afterword introduces the holdings and opportunities of the National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation, home to the archive of recordings, and documents collected by the TRC. As Aimée Craft writes in the Afterword, knowing the historical backdrop of residential schooling and its legacy is essential to the work of reconciliation. In the past, agents of the Canadian state knocked on the doors of Indigenous families to take the children to school. Now, the Survivors have shared their truths and knocked back. It is time for Canadians to open the door to mutual understanding, respect, and reconciliation.
Publisher: Winnipeg : University of Manitoba Press, 2016
Edition: Edited and abridged
ISBN: 9780887557859
Branch Call Number: 971.00497 KNO


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Feb 06, 2021

This examination of the Residential School system seeks the truth and looks towards reconciliation. It's a thoughtful, open examination that looks to find a path forward.

This book looks at the policies that gave the Government and Churches rights over Indigenous children, how these children fared, how the policies were inadequate and how the system failed an entire Culture. The Residential schools caused more damage than a poor education. It separated children from their families and culture, their homes and made them ashamed of their history & roots. This damage spread to all parts of their futures and self-esteem, as well as those of their descendants.

The Commission that compiled this information looks to healing this failure and allowing the People to find a path to healing. By bringing Truth into the open, we as a society can help repair the hurt we caused.

I particularly liked the end of the book with the statements of how we can put these repairs into action with respect, honour and total acceptance of all People. We have a long way to go and many harms to heal, but if we follow the recommendations of the Commission, we will get there.

This is a wonderful introduction to a much larger issue. I am glad to have read this and now have a larger idea of the situation and will look to learn more.

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