Wednesday, January 16, 2013

George Jonas on Indians and residential schools

Political correctness, white liberal guilt and shaky logic are not what one expects from George Jonas.  He gets off to a bad start but reaches a reasonable conclusion.

Jonas: "It’s important to note that the residential school programs were disgraceful ...[even]from the perspective of their own [times]."

Then he contradicts himself with: "The reason we didn’t view our own conduct in this light at the time was due to civilizational arrogance ..."

While the latter bit ("civilizational arrogance") rings true, the former is unsupportable nonsense. Boarding schools were hardly a novel concept in the 1800's and early 1900's. In fact they were common. So were the methods of discipline. Regimentation and corporal punishment were pretty much the norm in British schools both at home and in the colonies (and from my own experience, in public schools in the 1950s and beyond). That it was applied in Indian residential schools is hardly surprising and certainly wouldn’t have been thought "disgraceful" by anyone at the time. Sexual abuse is another matter but it would have been considered criminal then and more severely punished than it is today.

Jonas’, in arguing from the perspective of his own supposedly ‘more enlightened’ times is guilty of ...what? Temporal arrogance? It would be interesting to hear from those who ran the schools back then but, luckily for George, they’re not here to defend themselves.

That's mainly in the first part of his column.  But he works his way to a reasonable, politically incorrect conclusion:
The ultimate solution, if there is one: ... A good version of the same model of which the residential schools were a bad ... example. The alternative, which is having the government maintain some sort of Paleolithic Garden of Eden for natives in post-industrial Canada, isn’t just unaffordable but unworkable. Unless people join the century in which they live, they will be alienated and displaced. For aboriginals no less than everyone else, Canada must be a first nation.


dmorris said...

The tales of Residential School abuse have been accepted without any skepticism from the guilty white population and especially the media.

I knew Indian ladies who went to RS's in the 1930's,they were friends of my parents. They said the experience was good for them as they were taught to read and write and basic home economics,cooking,sewing,etc., things they would not have learned on the Rez. They said the "Sisters" were strict but kindly,and they never mentioned any abuse,sexual or otherwise.

Corporal punishment,which today makes the latte socialists of the MSM blanch,was common in all schools,white or Indian. I know,I was the unhappy recipient of said CP many times.

The statistical anomaly of claiming every one of the Indian kids was abused just doesn't ring true. One comment mentions that 100,000 Indian kids attended Residential schools. I don't believe for a minute that even a majority of them were abused.

Lonely and homesick,yes,but no abused to the degree that Indian Grievance mongers claim.

There are in any large organization,some people who will take advantage of their situation,and sexual deviates exist in all segments of society.I have no doubt some of them slipped into the Res school system.

It's very probable that a small percentage of the RS school staff were pedophiles, BUT the overwhelming narrative today is that every Indian kid who ever attended a Res school,is some kind of victim.

I don't believe it.

The only way Indian kids from remote Rez's are going to get a good education is if they leave the Rez and go to a place where post-secondary education is available.

Canada cannot afford to build more than elementary or possibly secondary schools on every remote Rez,and pay to staff them,so the sensible alternative is to go to a boarding school.

There is also the problem of so much anti-white racism on Reserves,finding teaching staff to tolerate those conditions will be very difficult.

The quality of Indian educators on Rez's is also questionable, as the usual nepotism is at play when giving our good jobs on the Rez.

I have the sinking feeling that ,as usual, the Indian politicians will be given more money,and more useless programs will be set up to placate the un-idle Indians,but not much will be accomplished.

It's pretty obvious the Indian politicians only want a nice big share of the resource( read:OIL) industry revenues,and if they get enough,the whole issue will go away until next time someone feels aggrieved and looks for someone to blame.

Then, we'll have another FN "outrage at the white man" movement,and we'll again give the Chiefs what they want.

This will continue until Canada is no longer "white",and then it's the Indians problem to deal with the Asians who own the Country.

JR said...

Thanks for those very comprehensive comments. They support very well my own understanding of the situation.

When compensation is being offered for verbal "evidence" of supposed abuses that it's quite obvious will be sympathetically heard, there will be many, many lining up to testify.

And I hate the idea of apologies from gullible/guilt-ridden non-participants for the alleged actions of their dead ancestors. It's a form of arrogant disloyalty.

LAS said...

What George is referencing is the seizure of Indian children and transfer to REs, which was and is shameful. The living conditions were no good either.

JR said...

I doubt that the people of that time viewed the res school program as "shameful". But hey, maybe some did. If you have evidence of that I'd be glad to post it.

Dollops said...

Residential schools were recognised at the time as the best available means of preparing Indian children for success in a rapidly changing world. Indian parents, like all others, wanted to give their children advantages, and there was little need to rip those kids from their families. As JR wrote above, many of the affected kids appreciated, even enjoyed, their residential school experiences. These words are from a "white" who grew up in the 1950's among "survivors" of those schools. LAS, you have been misinformed.