Canadian Indian residential school system
The Indian Residential Schools were a network of ""residential"" (boarding) schools for Native Canadians (First Nations or ""Indians""; Métis and Inuit). Funded by the Canadian government's Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and administered by Christian churches, predominantly the Roman Catholic Church in Canada (60%), but also the Anglican Church of Canada (30%), and the United Church of Canada (including its pre-1925 constituent church predecessors)(10%). The policy was to remove children from the influence of their families and culture, and assimilate them into the dominant Canadian culture. Over the course of the system's existence, approximately 30% of native children, roughly some 150,000, were placed in residential schools nationally.The system had origins in pre-Confederation times, but was primarily active following the passage of the Indian Act in 1876, until the late-20th century. An amendment to the Indian Act made attendance of day school, industrial school or residential school compulsory for First Nations children and, in some parts of the country, residential schools were the only option. The number of residential schools reached 80 in 1931 but decreased in the years that followed. The last federally operated residential school was closed in 1996. In total, about 150,000 First Nations children passed through the residential school system, and at least 4,000 of them died while attending the schools.There has long been significant historiographical and popular controversy about the conditions experienced by students in the residential schools. While day schools for First Nations, Metis and Inuit children always far outnumbered residential schools, a new consensus emerged in the early 21st century that the latter schools did significant harm to Aboriginal children who attended them by removing them from their families, depriving them of their ancestral languages, through sterilization, and by exposing many of them to physical leading to sexual abuse by staff members, and other students, and enfranchising them forcibly. This consensus was symbolized by the June 11, 2008, public apology offered by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on behalf of the Government of Canada and the leaders of the other federal parties in the Canadian House of Commons. Nine days prior, the Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established to uncover the truth about the schools. The commission gathered statements from residential school survivors through public and private statement gatherings at various local, regional and national events across Canada. Seven national events held between 2008-2013 commemorated the experience of former students of residential schools.The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) a Canadian federal court-approved settlement agreement announced by the Canadian federal government on 8 May 2006 with implementation in September 2007 that recognized the damage inflicted by the Indian residential schools (IRS), and established a $2 billion compensation package for the approximately 86,000 people who were forced to attend these schools. The IRSSA was the largest class action settlement in Canadian history. By December 2012 a total of $1.62 billion was paid to 78,750 former students which represents 98% of the 80,000 who were eligible.