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    A cultural approach to a Canadian tragedy: the Indian residential schools as a sacred enterprise

    Woods, Eric Taylor (2013) A cultural approach to a Canadian tragedy: the Indian residential schools as a sacred enterprise. International Journal of Politics, Society and Culture 26 (2), pp. 173-187. ISSN 0891-4486.

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    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.


    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Politics
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2013 16:14
    Last Modified: 18 Nov 2013 16:14


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