Indian Residential schools: at least Brit kids made it home

British gentry sending their kids to private school was very different from Indian kids being sent to residential school, reader writes.

To the Editor,

Re: letter to the editor,  Aug. 16.

After commenting that British gentry paid to send their children to private schools, a question was recently asked in the Aug.16, 2012 edition of the Alberni Valley News, if Canada is the first to compensate First Nations for having attended residential schools. Like there’s some comparison?

To answer the question, I would ask everyone to please read Mr. Basil Johnston’s bittersweet autobiography called ‘Indian School Days’.

He describes everything from lonliness and deprivation to the soul-numbing routine of a genocidal government policy of assimilation that ripped native children from their parents with tragic results for many generations.

At least British children made it home from their exclusive private schools, for as many as 50 per cent of Canadian Indian residential school children never even made it home from school. They died, away from their home and family.

Further, the question is asked “Does society even care?”

We’re talking about it, so I guess we — thankfully — do.

And, if I have anything to do about it, society will increasingly care.

So I live in hope.

Liz Stonard,

Port Alberni