Hayter Reeds Remarks on the Failure of Industrial Schools


Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Hayter Reed, remarked in a letter to Rev. Albert Pascal that the industrial school system was largely ineffective in the Northwest Territories, and no more such schools should be constructed in the territory. He also notes that what was taught at industrial schools were not of use to Indigenous peoples, especially those that did not live close to large urban settlements. He called on the department to admit that these schools have little practical value.

Despite a strong inclination that industrial/residential schools were serving little purpose and nonfunctional early on, the Canadian Government continued the residential school system (the last one closing in 1996 in Saskatchewan). It shows that the purpose of Industrial schools were mainly a tool of cultural segregation, under the guise of 'education' students were isolated and subjected to continuous systematic violence without an ability to leave. This is apparent from the opinions of government officials who even saw that Residential schooling was of no practical use and institutions should be shut down.