Preserved Stories Blog


Full historical record, as it relates to Indigenous and Settler history, is emerging in public consciousness

We’ve had extensive discussion, at this website, about a remarkable, and memorable, elementary school in Montreal that, in retrospect, played a strong and positive formative experience in my life, and in the lives of fellow students from the 1950s and 1960s, who attended Cartierville School. The school went back long before the 1950s.

Among the posts dealing with the school is one entitled:

Ulrich Laska has added a comment to our forum about Cartierville School

I want to share a comment that I have recently posted, at the above-noted blog post:

I like the fact that the history of Cartierville School goes back a long way and that we are able to share a good amount of solid information about the history of the school. There was an idyllic quality to the school (including its pleasing, compact, human-scale architecture) and its surroundings (the large school grounds, with a slope toward the Back River, and the large trees). There were also characteristic human qualities (with qualities of strong emotional support as well as of cruelty and coercion) that are a part of the history of education, including the methods of corporal punishment that were the norm in schools across the country in those days.

As I recall, the use of the strap was an everyday part of school life, from the primary grades on, until at some point in the early or mid-1960s, when at least within the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal, the use of it appears to have been abolished. When the use of the strap was abolished in other school systems I do not know; it’s a question that is of interest, for me.

I have recently begun to picture, in my mind, what the experiences were like (for example, in relation to school-inflicted violence) in those days, for Indigenous children and adolescents, separated from their extended families, in residential schools across Canada. I am really pleased that the full historical record, as it relates to Indigenous and Settler history of that era, and of previous eras, is now becoming, to some extent – and perhaps an increasing extent – a part of public consciousness.

I am reminded of a July 9, 2017 Toronto Star article, entitled: “John A. Macdonald was the real architect of residential schools: The controversy around Egerton Ryerson and Hector-Louis Langevin distracts from the fundamental fact that our first prime minister was the architect of Canada’s Indigenous genocide.”

 

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