It has been frequently used in discussions surrounding the Idle No More movement during the winter of 2012-13.
But the term has a longer history in discussions in Canada concerning Native-newcomer relations.
In the apology, Harper recognized that the residential schools were wrong, harmful and damaging to the students.
Liberal leader, Stéphane Dion, NDP leader, Jack Layton and Bloc Québecois leader, Gilles Duceppe also made statements apologizing for the residential schools.
In the 19th century the Canadian government believed it was responsible for educating and caring for the country’s aboriginal people.
It though that native peoples best chance for success was to adopt Christianity and Canadian customs.
Performing "private pseudo-official inspections of genitalia of girls and boys" (Chrisjohn & Maraun, 1997, p.32) was common.
The children were often beaten to the point of unconsciousness, drawing blood or serious permanent or semi-permanent injuries, They also prohibited the use of all Aboriginal languages and Aboriginal religious or spiritual practices, a spiritual form of abuse.
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