The painful legacy of Canada's residential school system
OTTAWA — Doris Young was 3 years old when she was forced to leave her family and attend a church-run school in central Canada. If she spoke her native Cree language, she was beaten, she said. If she disobeyed any authorities at school, she was beaten. She was separated from her siblings, who also were forced into the schools. She also suffered sexual abuse.
“It was pretty bad. I was very angry all the time, and I was always lonely, because you didn’t really develop relationships in those schools,” said Young. “Even when we went home to our parents in the summer, there wasn’t really time to bond because we were there for so little time. I spent a lot of time crying ... I was just so lonely.”