Get a glimpse into the daily lives of children in Nazi Germany, and consider how the Nazis “educated” Germany’s youth.
Participants of the Battle of Cable Street in London draw connections between the antisemitism in 1936 and racism targeted at the neighborhood’s Bangladeshi community today.
Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug reflects on why she gets asked the question “You’re Jewish?” (Spanish available).
Facing the resilience of indigenous traditional education in Canada, Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald, who was also Minister of Indian Affairs, commissioned Nicholas Flood Davin, a journalist, lawyer, and politician, to go to Washington, DC, in 1879 to study how the United States tackled the same issue. At the time, the US had developed a policy of aggressive civilization of Native Americans. This policy, writes anthropologist Derek G. Smith, “had been formulated in the post-Civil War period by President Ulysses S. Grant’s administration . . . and was passed into law by Congress in early 1869.”1 The key to this policy was a system of industrial schools where religious instruction and skills training would help the Native Americans catch up with the demands of Western society.
As Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald said in 1887, after the residential schools began to operate, “The great aim of our legislation has been to do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with the other inhabitants of the Dominion as speedily as they are fit to change.” Yet despite this high talk of Indian enfranchisement, the official process designed to assimilate indigenous people as soon as possible, In
From 1883 onward, the federal government sought a system to enroll indigenous children in schools. Day schools and industrial schools were to serve alongside the residential schools to meet this growing challenge. One of the most important historians of the residential schools, James R. Miller, estimates that a great number of indigenous students were, in fact, educated in day schools, although the residential schools left the most painful, long-lasting marks on indigenous communities.
War and political changes also contributed to the destruction of indigenous ways, livelihoods, and physical existence. France and Great Britain, the largest colonial powers in the world, began to clash openly in 1754 over several areas of control, including North America. Two years later, they declared war, and each recruited First Nations to fight on their side. In 1763, at the end of what the British called the Seven Years’ War (known as the War of Conquest in French Canada), the Treaty of Paris ceded most of the French territories in North America to Great Britain.
When the European powers set their sights on North America, some three hundred years after the so-called discovery of the continent (which for them was the “New World”), it became a location for French and British settlements. The process of assuming control of someone else’s territory and applying one’s own systems of law, government, and religion is called colonization. Indeed, prior to the 1800s, settling the land was not the first priority.
After the 1812 war with the United States ended with no significant border changes, the British Canadians established themselves as the dominant power in the region and began to plan a process of nation building. And by the second half of the nineteenth century, they were ready to do away with the political and cultural independent existence of indigenous nations. In 1867, the British North America Act united three British colonies into the first four provinces of the Dominion of Canada, establishing Canada as a federation of provinces, a dominion under the British Crown.
By the 1830s and 1840s, when the colonization or settlement of the Canadian region began to shift into high gear, the European settlers pursued laws and regulations to manage the populations with whom they came into contact. The reserve was a common colonial strategy for managing the local indigenous population. Reserves existed in Africa, in the British American colonies, and in Canada, where the colonizers had to address the people they dispossessed— people who seemingly stood in the way of the political and economic plans of European settlers.