How Positive were our very own death camps! An Open Letter to the Quesnel Cariboo Observer
An Open Letter to the Quesnel Cariboo Observer,
Recently, your newspaper reported how the W.A. Fraser Middle School in Vancouver has asked its pupils to “Name five positive things that happened in Indian residential schools” (sic).
Before I rise to this challenge, let me observe how appropriate it is that a Quesnel publication would report on this issue, considering how well versed is your fair city in dealing with Indians. The extermination by smallpox of your local Chilcotin people during the summer of 1864 was no small deed, thanks to their forced vaccination by Anglican missionary and land speculator John Sheepshanks.
Anyway, as for the “positive” aspects of the “Indian residential schools”, here goes:
1. The schools gave brown children as young as three daily physical exercise by allowing them to scrub floors, dig graves, paw through garbage pails for discarded food, and hunt for new places to hide.
2. They provided generous tax write-offs, land grants and oodles of cash to the Catholic, Anglican and United Church.
3. They encouraged Canada’s scientific research in such fields as mandatory vaccinations, mind control technology, bacteriological warfare, involuntary drug testing and pain threshold studies.
4. They toughened the moral fiber of children by showing them the unimportance of luxuries like good food, warm clothing, and pain killers during teeth extractions.
5. They offered necessary late-night sexual relief to clergy and staff who might otherwise have acted out their aggression on their loved ones.
But wait! Let’s not stop there! Think of all the other positive things that Canadians are still not aware of regarding those places:
- Heathen children learned to sing Christmas carols
- The surplus aboriginal populations were brought down to sustainable levels
- The generally superfluous RCMP acquired a new lease on life by bravely rounding up and manacling children and hunting them when they ran away
- Without the residential schools, there might still be wild Indians lurking about Stanley Park, scaring off the tourists and driving down property values
- After they closed, the schools continued to provide employment to generations of social workers, parole officers, psychiatrists, and lawyers
- And don’t forget that the legacy of the schools eventually allowed White Canadians to feel better about themselves and have their guilt and legal liability healed.
In closing, let me say that I intend to send my answers to the W.A. Fraser Middle School. I hope this will encourage them in their continued effort to teach Canadians the important role played by the Indian residential schools in upholding the values that we as a people hold so dear.
Kevin D. Annett, M.A., M.Div.
260 Kennedy street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 2H8
cc: Canadian media