Differing Visions: Administering Indian Residential Schooling in Prince Albert, 1867-1995


Foreword from the Author, Page 7-8:

"Indian people in the Prince Albert Grand Council have long recognized the importance of education for our children. Our future as a people depends upon our ability to prepare our children to deal with a rapidly changing world that is not always sensitive to our need and determination to retain and build our culture and communities. To succeed in this it will be necessary to understand the often unhappy history of our relations with governments, religious denominations and other non-Indian agencies. Today some Canadians are in a rush to forget the past and to make Indians shoulder the responsibility for the serious difficulties that afflict our communities. This approach will not work. The past cannot be swept under the carpet and forgotten. Indians and non-Indians must deal honestly with the past as a first step towards finding ways to establish better tomorrows for all of us. We all stand to benefit from this.

This book tells the story of how residential schooling for Indian children has been administered in Prince Albert for more than a century. In some ways, our experience of residential schooling has been similar to that of other Aboriginal peoples throughout Canada and other countries. In other ways, however, our story is quite different. At a time when Indian residential schools were closing elsewhere in Canada, the people of the Prince Albert Grand Council saw a need to take over and completely remake an institution that had previously been used to direct and control our people. Recognizing the positive role that a completely different kind of Indian-controlled child education centre might play, we have created and pursued our own vision of how to care for and educate those of our children who require special treatment. The courage and commitment that our leaders and staff have shown in working to make this vision a reality deserves to be celebrated. The tactics that federal officials have employed to frustrate and undermine our efforts also need to be recorded.

This history has been written first and foremost for the Indian people of the Prince Albert Grand Council. The story needs to be told of how our ancestors, who signed treaties with the representatives of Queen Victoria, sought to obtain appropriate forms of education for their children, and how today we are carrying on that struggle. Moreover, we want to share our story with the people of Canada and other countries. Anyone who wishes to see the lives of Indian children improved, but who may be uncertain about what needs to be done, can learn a great deal by studying how the federal government has actually dealt with an innovative and highly effective institution, built and operated by Indian people for Indian children. When we confront the past we learn how to build for the future." (7-8).

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Publication Information

Dyck, Noel. Differing Visions. Fernwood Publishing: Prince Albert Grand Council, 1997.

Dyck, Noel
Prince Albert Grand Council
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