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1880 - Indian Commissioner argues that schools be moved greater distances from reserves in order to make visiting more difficult for parents and family

Hayter Reed, the Indian Commissioner (known as "Iron Heart" by Native peoples whom he referred to as the "scum of the Plains" - (source) pushed policies calculated to remove children "from the retarding influences" of contact with their families.  - Dictionary of Canadian Biography


Reed promoted the industrial and semi-industrial institutions because they removed children "from the retarding infuences" of contact with their reserves. "Experience has proved that the industrial and boarding schools are productive of the best results in Indian education. At the ordinary day school the children are under the infuence of their teacher for only a short time each day and after school hours they merge again with the life of the reserve. It can readily be seen that, no matter how earnest a teacher may be, his control over his pupils must be very limited under

such conditions. But in the boarding or industrial schools the pupils are removed for a long period from the leadings of this uncivilized life and receive constant care and attention. It is therefore in the interest of the Indians that these institutions should be kept in an eficient state as it is in their success that the solution of the Indian problem lies." - Shattering the Silence



Reed believed that an industrial-school education offered the best means of culturally assimilating the younger generation of natives. There were ten of these schools on the prairies, managed by Christian missionary churches and financed largely by the federal government. The school program was divided evenly between academic and manual work. The half-day system, as it was called, appealed particularly to Reed: “Unless it is intended to train children to earn their bread by brain-work rather than by manual labour, at least half of their day should be devoted to acquiring skill in the latter.” To maximize the impact of the “civilizing” institutional routines, the students, who boarded at the schools, were not permitted to return home for holidays since “such return to their old associations … invariably interferes with the progress secured through uninterrupted residence in the schools.”



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