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A National Crime

The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879 to 1986

A National Crime    
Format Softcover
Catalogue No. 0-88755-646-9
Pages 402
Language English only
Price $26.95
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Written by John Milloy.
Published by the University of Manitoba Press, 1999.


For over 100 years, thousands of Aboriginal children passed through the Canadian residential school system. Although meant to bring Aboriginal children into the "circle of civilization" the actual results of the system were far different. More commonly, it provided an inferior education in an atmosphere of neglect, disease, and often - abuse.

Using access to previously unreleased government documents, Milloy provides a full picture of the ideological roots of the system, and follows the paper trails of internal memorandums, reports from field inspectors, and letters of complaint. In the early decades, the system grew without planning or restraint. Despite numerous critical commissions and reports, it persisted into the 1970s, when it transformed itself into a social welfare system without improving conditions for its thousands of wards.

A National Crime shows how the residential system was chronically underfunded and mismanaged, and how this affected the health, education and well-being of entire generations of Aboriginal children.
"John Milloy hits you in smack in the heart. His book will be painful reading for aboriginal people, but the fact that the story is being told is therapeutic. An unbiased, non-aboriginal effort, Milloy's book should be mandatory reading for all citizens of the Americas." – The Globe and Mail
"Though the book is oriented towards academics and educators, its clear style . . . should broaden its appeal. Milloy is a careful scholar." – Winnipeg Free Press
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Last modified: June 5, 2007

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