Indian Day Schools in Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg Territory, 1899-1978

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Authors
Pind, Jackson
Keyword
Indigenous education , History of Education , Indian Day Schools , Two-eyed Seeing , Curve Lake First Nation , Anishinaabe History , Indigenous community-based research
Abstract
This dissertation examines the history of Curve Lake Indian Day School between, 1899-1978 situated in the larger context of Indigenous education in Ontario during the first three quarters of the 20th century. Drawing on a collection of over 10,000 primary sources from the federal government, newspapers, and local archives the dissertation demonstrates how the federal government failed to recognize inherent treaty rights and fulfill its fiduciary duty towards education with Curve Lake First Nation. The federal government–through the administration of the Methodist and United Church–significantly underfunded the schools in comparison to the public system in Ontario and banned the use of Indigenous languages. This racially segregated system provided inadequate and poorly educated teachers, that caused significant issues among community members including abuse, loss of language, and dangerous health conditions. This pattern of mismanagement is still impacting their descendants today, especially with their health and revitalization of the traditional language: Anishinaabemowin. Using the method of “two-eyed seeing” this research was guided and informed by Curve Lake First Nation ensuring that all the historical data examined was easily accessible by the community through its elected Band Council under the leadership of Chief Emily Whetung.
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