In the early 1600s the first Roman Catholic missionaries tried to convert natives to Christianity. The missionaries (Which were also known as Jesuits) came from Europe and strongly believed that every one should be Catholics. They believed that their mission was to teach people "the way into heaven". In the "New World", their goal was to bring lost souls to Christianity and they were willing to go through hardships and would shed their blood to succeed.
Pierre Biard and Enemand Massé arrived at Port Royal (Newfoundland) on May 22 1611. Enemand Massé was driven out by the English, but was one of the first Jesuits to come back in 1625 to try to convert the natives to Christianity. He came back with Charles Lalemant, Jean de Brébeuf.
Brébeuf spent many years with the Huron's, learning their language and culture. He had a number of missions that ended up with almost no success in converting the First Nations to Christianity.
Residential schools were government-sponsored religious schools that were created to force Indigenous children into European-Canadian culture. Their belief was to "Kill the Indian in the child", the residential schools distroyed lives and communities, causing long-term problems among Indigenous peoples. Most elders still can't talk about thier time at Residential schools.
The experience of residential school was terrible, Children would be taken from their homes and communities to be brought to these Resedential schools. Children were beaten if they talked in the native language or expressed anything from there culture.
Conditions at these Resedential schools were very bad . The clothing would be the wrong size for the child and shabby and the winter clothing was not proper protection for the season. The amount of food was very low and bad in quality. So kids then became underfed and malnourished, the students had very high chances of getting diseases such as tuberculosis and influenza. At least 3,200 Indigenous children died in the overcrowded residential schools. To add on to all of that the lessons were taught in English or French, which many of the children did not speak.
Residential schools used a half-day system, where the students spent half the day in the classroom and the other half of the day at work. The theory behind this was that students would learn skills that would help them to earn a living as adults, but the work was more to run the school inexpensively and would provide students with training.
Since the last residential school closed in 1996, former students have tried to get recognition and make Canada pay for what they had done. Which resulted in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) created in 2007 and a formal public apology by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2008. In total, an estimated 150 000 First Nation, Inuit, and Métis children attended residential schools.
What is the IRSSA
The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) is an agreement between the government of Canada and about 150 000 Native Canadians removed from their families as children and placed in Canadian Indian residential schools. The IRSSA recognized the damage made by the residential schools and established a $2 billion compensation package for the victims. As of December 2012 a total of $1.62 billion has been paid to 78,750 former students.