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Child-Targeted Assimilation: An Oral History of Indian Day School Education in Kahnawà:ke

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Child-Targeted Assimilation: An Oral History of Indian Day School Education in Kahnawà:ke

Whitebean, Wahéhshon Shiann (2019) Child-Targeted Assimilation: An Oral History of Indian Day School Education in Kahnawà:ke. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Child-Targeted Assimilation:
An Oral History of Indian Day School Education in Kahnawà:ke

Wahéhshon Shiann Whitebean

Recent studies about Indigenous education in Canada largely focus on the effects of Residential Schooling. Yet, Indigenous children in Canada attended Day Schools in greater numbers than Residential Schools and we still know little about their experiences. For many First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children, the loss of language, culture, and identity caused by Day Schooling are traumatic experiences that spanned several generations. The Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) community of Kahnawà:ke had several Day Schools, the earliest of which opened in the 1820s. This research seeks out the oral histories and experiences at Indian Day Schools of four Kanien’kehá:ka elders from Kahnawà:ke. The research is approached with a combination of Indigenous and qualitative research methods including oral history and narrative inquiry. Through a critical self-reflexive autobiographical narrative process, experiences and impacts of Day Schools are analyzed and interpreted as a co-creation of knowledge. The term child-targeted assimilation is introduced as a means of identifying a pattern of child-focused colonization that has resulted in layers of trauma in families and communities. This research demonstrates ways that multigenerational storying facilitates a deeper understanding of colonization and approaches painful issues without traumatizing or victimizing Indigenous peoples. Effects of Indian Day Schooling are understood through the lens of lived reality, set in the broader context of colonization and other facets of indigenous life. The outcome is a process of decolonizing, healing, and approaching research as story and as medicine.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies > Individualized Program
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Whitebean, Wahéhshon Shiann
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Individualized Program
Date:26 March 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):White, Louellyn
Keywords:Day Schools, Indigenous education, storytelling, trauma, assimilation, Kahnawake, healing, colonization, child-targeted assimilation.
ID Code:985347
Deposited By: Concordia Wahéhshon Whitebean
Deposited On:17 Jun 2019 16:19
Last Modified:17 Jun 2019 16:19
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