Sorry for the genocide

This week’s bluffer’s guide courtesy of yours truly is about the Canadian residential school system, which the Canadian government formally apologized for this week. In addition to the apology, the government is handing out money by the bucketsful to people who lived in these schools, and has agreed to setup a Truth and Reconciliation commission to study the matter.

The latter is certainly a good idea because despite the huge amount of information out there, a lot of it is contradictory and it would be nice to get some more accuracy about a very shameful part of Canada’s history. I had a lot of trouble with conflicting information about when the schools started, when they closed, where they were located and how many there were and what their ages were (in other words, about half the information in this Reuters factbox). We’re still not entirely sure how many people are involved, but it could easily be over 100,000.

That said, for further reading I would recommend the Indian Residential School Survivor Society and the residential school settlement website.

Also, be sure to check out this classic 1950s CBC educational video about the school system. It’s so cliché it hurts.

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