A Cultural Approach to a Canadian Tragedy: The Indian Residential Schools as a Sacred Enterprise

Article


Woods, E. T. 2013. A Cultural Approach to a Canadian Tragedy: The Indian Residential Schools as a Sacred Enterprise. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society. 26 (2), pp. 173-187.
AuthorsWoods, E. T.
Abstract

For over a century, the Canadian state funded a church-run system of residential schools designed to assimilate Aboriginal children into Euro-Canadian culture. In addition to the problems associated with its ethnocentric philosophy, the school system was also characterised by terrible health conditions and physical and sexual abuse of the students was widespread. Recently, the schools have been the object of the most successful struggle for redress in Canadian history. One particularly puzzling aspect about the school system is that it persisted for so long, despite that many of its failings were known very early in its operation. In this article, this puzzle is addressed via a cultural analysis of a political struggle over the residential schools that occurred within Canadian Anglicanism at the outset of the twentieth century. The article concludes that the meaning of the school system as a sacred enterprise contributed to its persistence.

JournalInternational Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society
Journal citation26 (2), pp. 173-187
ISSN1573-3416
0891-4486
Year2013
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10767-013-9132-0
Publication dates
Print16 Feb 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Nov 2016
Copyright information© 2013 Springer. The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10767-013-9132-0
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