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
-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