CBC celebrates 75 years of Aboriginal Coverage (Web extra)

Rewind

Residential schools also meant that native people lost their language. For early missionaries in Canada, learning native languages was essential if they hoped to win converts. But as residential schools started to take hold in the late 19th century, the churches began to discourage missionaries from speaking native languages. School administrators recognized that language was inextricably linked with culture. If native children were to be assimilated into white society, they must learn English. Of these children, the Department of Indian Affairs wrote in its 1895 report: "So long as he keeps his native tongue, so long will he remain a community apart." This piece is from 1970.

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