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18 - Film 7 - Kuper Island.docx

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Health Sciences
Health Sciences 1002A/B
Jessica Polzer

HS 1002a - Class 14 - Tuesday, Oct. 23 Questions on Film ‘Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle’ The film Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle explores the intergenerational impact of residential schools (IGIRS) on Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. Specifically, it illustrates the destructive effects that the Kuper Island Residential School had on the hundreds of Aboriginal children who were forced there by government officials for almost a century. In this film, twenty years after the school was closed, survivors of Kuper Island embark on a spiritual journey to Vancouver Island's Tsartlip Reserve to begin healing the deep psychological wounds inflicted by their residential school experiences. Through this journey, the film reveals a number of connections between the multiple burdens of colonization, the IGIRS and the health (mental, physical and spiritual) of Aboriginal individuals, families and communities. As you watch the film, try to identify some of these connections so that you can understand in greater depth the intergenerational effects of residential schools, and the effects of colonization on the health of Aboriginal Peoples more generally. Specifically, consider how residential schools affected the following:  Ties with family, community, tradition  -people were jailed for practicing their traditional dance, they brought in residential schools.  -forced to go to bed hungry, forced to say prayers on his knees or else he would be punished  -parents were threatened if they didn’t let their children go to the residential school or else they were thrown in jail  -only way to succeed is to become one of them  -designed to assimilate their people (aboriginals)  denied them their culture, they are still paying the price today unless our leaders decide that healing is critical to the people  healing: coming face to face with the whole residential experience  Alcohol abuse, crime, and other social problems  -they turned to drinking to forget about what happened to them as a child.. The drinking got so bad that they guy took a life so that someone else can hurt more than he had. He took his own daughter’s life.  Ability to talk about traumatic experiences and to engage in healing  -it was hard for some people to talk about it because it brings up all these painful emotions and feelings  -they wanted to keep what happened to them to themselves. They didn’t want to accept help. They just buried their feelings What do you think about the practice used in residential schools of assigning children numbers? What does this remind you of? -your given a number. Everything is numbered; all your clothing and belongings -when you played, you never really enjoyed yourself until you heard a whistle and they called out a number. The pe
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