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"Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack (born 19 January 1954; died 23 October 1966 near Redditt, ON). Chanie Wenjack, an Anishinaabe boy from Ontario, ran away from his residential school near Kenora at age 12, and subsequently died from hunger and exposure to the harsh weather. His death in 1966 sparked national attention and the first inquest into the treatment of Indigenous children in Canadian residential schools."
More information about Chanie’s life, death, and the impact that he had
Heritage Minute narrated by Chanie’s sister
A banner was recently released containing the names of 6000 children who died at residential schools. However, this leaves out the ones who were not identified yet, or died in other circumstances like foster care. Thus, there are still well over 2000 names missing from that list.
Sometimes I’m ashamed to be human. That poor little boy
More proof that humans are terrible the world over, and have been for all of time. I’m not exempt, I’ve been cruel as well. Escape the past. Be kind to someone today. Lets change as a species!
And to think; he simply wanted to go home. Not asking for a whole hell of a lot in the grand scheme of things. Poor child.
Canadian residential schools are arguably the worst thing Canada has ever done. My heart breaks for everyone who was victim to this disgusting system and history
The Native (North) Americans were treated exceptionally poorly by both countries. In the US though, they’ve been paid in full. I listened to the Chief of the Chippawa tribe give a speech where he mentioned that every member of his tribe was essentially born a millionaire with all their entitlements.
Literally walked out of class just learned about him.
Ppl should check out the 3 different media forms of the story. An album by Greg Downie, a graphic novel, and an animated film I believe.
Yeah we made a huge mistake
Rest in peace boy
Gord Downie (of the Tragically Hip) wrote a song about Chanie not long before passing away: The Stranger
The way we treated (and in some respects, still treat) the First Nations is one of the biggest black stains on Canada.. Knowing what we did as a nation to try an erase a entire culture sickens me; I may be a proud Canadian, but I am ashamed of what we did to them.
At least our government is finally admitting what it did was wrong – now we just need to do everything in our power to try and make it right.. not that I’m sure we ever could
a good book to read on this topic is Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese, really interesting and also sad
My mom was in one of these places. She said she was "raised in a church", also in the 60s, and I didn’t find out it was one of these places until recently. The school was associated with the methodist church.
She rarely talks about it but i’m sure all of her craziness is because of it. Very obsessed with appearance of herself and others and peoples actions which i’m sure was something drilled into her. Always going into our things. Seriously OCD levels. It goes beyond that. It was hell in jr high and high school, she was going off like an insane person then it was hard to live in that house. She has chilled now but still makes snide comments about that kind of thing all the time. She also HATES other women, all her friends are men. She can’t help herself but to talk shit or criticize women which makes having a girlfriend with her around problematic. Another thing is she had a insane crying fit when she found out we were atheist, when she was agnostic and my dad was atheist. She would not say why she was so upset but it was very memorable and frightening even though I was 20 at the time. That’s just a brief snippet of it, I could go on for hours. I used to blame her for it until I found out about these places. I’m sure not everyone from these places are this crazy so I still blame her in a way but she has also calmed down in her old age.
From what I heard from her they were ridiculously strict like what you hear about in the worst mormon or evangelical households. Not like a normal methodist church you would find today. No dancing, drinking, smoking, had to wear modest dress, couldn’t listen to most music, etc.
Obviously also cultural genocide going on. She basically also wasn’t allowed to see her real parents. She was told her mom was a drunk and not responsible (kind of true) and that her father wasn’t her real father (not true and he was responsible). They claimed her father was scottish or at least mostly scottish but IDK if that is her fabrication or wishful thinking. It created some insane relationship where I didn’t actually know that was my real grandfather until recently as well despite him being dead for over 10 years. She had it drilled into her that he wasn’t. IDK why.
Eventually she "escaped" canada to Washington state with her real parents (grandfather was a US citizen since the 1930s) and they moved to Chicago but that was when she was basically almost 18. She ended up having at least one normal high school year in the Seattle area.
As you can guess she doesn’t talk about this much. All this took me a while to find out. I have no real interest in pursuing it further really.
All this basically came out because I said I was going to get a ancestry.com dna test, lol. She ended up doing it. She had >80% native american ancestry.
For anyone saying the residential schools happened a long time ago, the last residential school closed in 1996.
Similar things happen today.
Something I’m wondering: Where do the people who set things like the residential schools up even find people so horrible? I hear about terrible terrible people being involved in things like this, but how in the world did they manage to find and recruit these people?