Statue of Canada residential schools architect toppled in Toronto


Category:  History & Sociology

Via:  hallux  •  4 months ago  •  8 comments


Statue of Canada residential schools architect toppled in Toronto
Egerton Ryerson statue toppled after demonstration about discovery of 215 Indigenous children’s remains at residential school.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

A statue of one of the architects of Canada’s residential schools system has been toppled and will not be replaced, the president of Toronto’s Ryerson University said, after protesters rallied to   honour the 215 Indigenous children   whose remains were found at a former school.

Hundreds of people demonstrated in Toronto on Sunday to   commemorate and demand justice   for the children discovered at Kamloops Indian Residential School in the western province of British Columbia late last month.

A statue of Egerton Ryerson, who helped create the system in which more than 150,000 First Nations, Metis and Inuit children were separated from their families and forced to attend church-run boarding schools, was torn down.


jrDiscussion - desc
Sophomore Principal
1  seeder  Hallux    4 months ago

Time to rename the University.

Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
2  Sean Treacy    4 months ago


Ryerson (1803–1882) was one of the most influential figures in the history of Upper Canada and was in his day considered the very paragon of the forward-looking, progressive, inclusive, worldly intellectual. He was a beacon of educational reform, a fighter against injustice of all sorts, and a kind and generous man. A Methodist minister, he pushed for religious equality and has long been celebrated as the founder of Ontario’s public school system...

T IS THUS fundamentally wrong to blame Egerton Ryerson for creating residential schools. It was the chief Peter Jones, working with other prominent Methodists, who argued that the government should fund schools to educate Indigenous men in the new techniques in agriculture, so that they might survive in a colony where land to hunt and fish freely was rapidly disappearing. It is too often ignored that Indigenous people themselves wanted government-funded schools. By 1842, the Canada West authorities accepted the concept, as a way to put First Nations on farms and to eliminate the expense of annual treaty payments, which is not the same thing as trying to assimilate them. Assimilation was a natural process that had been happening anyway for generations; no culture is static in a dynamic colonial setting where both sides embraced the idea of progress.

Sophomore Principal
2.1  seeder  Hallux  replied to  Sean Treacy @2    4 months ago

Professor Principal
2.2  Kavika   replied to  Sean Treacy @2    4 months ago

He also was the architect of segregated schools for blacks in Canada.

Ryerson described education in common schools as a “ charming passage ,” in which students were inspired towards lifelong learning and growth.

In contrast,   for industrial schools for Indigenous children , the model which the residential school system emerged from, Ryerson argued that “a state of civilization” could only be achieved with eight to 12 hours a day of heavy agricultural labour, starting at the age of four. He mused there would likely be little time for academics.

Read more:   Residential school literature can teach the colonial present and imagine better futures

For deaf and/or blind children , he believed that only an intensive focus on manual trades would be able to combat what he saw as their natural idleness.

For segregated schools for Black students , he refused to support Black parents and advocates when school boards (that answered to him) denied them adequate funds, arguing he had no power to help.

And he suggested that   industrial schools for “vagrant and neglected children” be structured similarly to prisons .

Ryerson’s legacy is rightly criticized for his role in creating the model for residential schools. How Canadians choose to memorialize him and understand the systems he developed has wide-ranging implications.

Let’s not ignore how the same racist and colonial philosophy behind residential schools was also foundational to mainstream public education.

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @2.2    4 months ago

When I read about Egerton Ryerson's complicity in the creation of the Residential Schools, and his personal attitude, for some reason this quotation came to mind....

“Are There No Prisons? Are There No Workhouses?” (Ebeneezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol)

I find it very satsifying that a lot of truths that have been buried for many decades are finally being excavated, a prime example being the Black Wall Street Massacre.  It's about time that Egerton Ryerson's reputation as being such an angel in the field of education is finally exposed for its ugliness, ugliness that seems always to be whitewashed in historical descriptions. 

Back when I was the Editior-in-Chief of my university newspaper we were very much aware of the quality of the Ryersonian, Ryerson's daily student newspaper, (ours was a weekly one) and that it was being the best, most professional university newspaper in all of Canada, but I have been more recently so disappointed with that university for the rampant anti-Israel bias and antisemitism festering there.  

Professor Principal
2.2.2  Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.1    4 months ago

Much like the US Canada whitewashes its history and villains become heroes. Sad as that is, it's been the MO for both countries for centuries.

Maybe, just maybe a reckoning has arrived and Canada seems to be well ahead of the US.

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.2.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @2.2.2    4 months ago

And in Canada, some who are heroes were treated as villains - like Riel. 

Professor Principal
2.2.4  Kavika   replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2.2.3    4 months ago

That certainly is a perfect example.


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