Moving Forward at Tyendinaga
Residential Schools have affected the lives of many First Nation communities. Students from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory attended Day Schools. They did not have to live in residential schools but the purpose of the Day Schools was the same – they wanted to wipe out Mohawk language and culture. Today students on the territory attend a modern school but the effects of the Day Schools are still felt in our community.
What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?
I knew about the Day Schools that Tyendinaga students attended in the past but didn't realize just how much people today still mistrust the school system because of them.
What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?
Day Schools affected our territory a lot. Even though they no longer exist they still affect many First Nation's attitude towards schools. Tyendinaga is working at moving forward with its school but sometimes the progress is slow.
How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?
My life today is very different from Mohawk students who attended Day Schools. They were not allowed to speak their language but at Quinte Mohawk we now have daily lessons in the Mohawk language. They were punished with willow branches, straps and rulers but physical punishment does not happen today. Technology is very important at our school and computers are used in all our classes. Quinte Mohawk School is very modern and takes many steps to make all of our students feel comfortable and happy to be at school.