Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Indigenous boarding and residential schools were in use for over 100 years in both Canada and the United States. Grown from numerous policies aimed at assimilation, dispossession, and genocide of the Indigenous peoples of North America, these residential schools had a particular aim: to wipe away all cultural and familial ties of every individual and to replace them with beliefs and values of white settlers. Though the schools are no longer in operation, their legacy of erasure and pain continues to affect survivors, their descendants, and Indigenous communities across both nations. This thesis looks at what the federal governments of Canada and the United States have done about residential schools since their operation. Specifically, this thesis analyzes federal investigation, reconciliation, and reparations efforts regarding Indigenous boarding and residential schools. Using the methodology of content analysis, as well as the conceptual frameworks of decolonization and decoloniality, this thesis seeks to answer the following research questions: (1) to what extent have reparations efforts made by Canada and the U.S. furthered a broader agenda of decolonization; and (2) how and why has Canada made more progress in investigating boarding schools, and does this necessarily mean they have come closer to decolonization? The ultimate goal is to determine whether either federal government has made meaningful steps towards interrogating their past policies towards Indigenous peoples, and whether that has led the United States or Canada to begin down a decolonial path.
Jacobs, Holly, "Decolonizing a Settler Colonial State: How Canada and the United States Have Approached Investigations Into Indigenous Boarding and Residential Schools" (2023). Master's Theses. 4477.
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