Read and listen to interview excerpts from WNYC's Brooke Gladstone and Nicholas Kristof.
Medical student Leana Wen reflects on the meeting with General Laurent Nkunda, a guerrilla leader in the eastern Congo. This post was originally published on June 21, 2007 in the New York Times blog Two for the Road: In Africa with Nick Kristof.
High school teacher Will Okun describes the difficulties and violence many encounter living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This post was originally published in the New York Times blog Two for the Road: In Africa with Nick Kristof.
Reporter Jeffrey Gettleman details the battles between local militias and villagers in the Eastern Congo.
In the 1990s, residential schools scholars such as James R. Miller and many indigenous leaders began to argue that the efforts of the Canadian government to assimilate the Indigenous Peoples in the residential schools embodied the principle of cultural genocide: assimilation was intended to destroy the Indigenous Peoples as culturally distinct group.
Anthropologists argue that all societies educate, train, or mentor their sons and daughters. While many do not have formal schools, they can, nevertheless, have an education system that helps younger generations socialize into the norms and expectations of their parents by learning the language, skills, and values needed to become productive members of society. Indigenous societies were no different. First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people had traditions, histories, and teaching systems that reflected their experience and directed their lives. The idea that Western culture was superior and that the Indigenous Peoples needed to be Christianized and civilized came from the biases of Europeans and their unwillingness to appreciate the complex, largely unwritten teaching processes inside indigenous communities.
Duncan Campbell Scott was to run the residential school system at its peak— that is, between 1913 and 1932. Scott was what might be called an extreme assimilationist. As a career civil servant, he was involved in Aboriginal affairs throughout his career (he proposed several amendments to the Indian Act and negotiated one of the major treaties). More importantly, he oversaw the operation of the residential schools.