Methodist Indian day schools and Indian communities in Northern Manitoba, 1890-1925

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Dueck, Susan Elaine
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The relationship that existed between Indian communities and Methodist Indian day schools in Northern Manitoba from 1890 to 1925 constitutes an important area in the study of Euro-Canadian attempts to educate Indians. During these decades, Methodist day schools in Indian communities played important roles in efforts at cultural assimilation. To understand such educational procedures and developments, it is not sufficient to look only at factual aspects such as achievement and attendance records, curriculum, administration and teacher training. It is also essential to study the Indian community in which a particular school was situated, the effects of Euro-Canadian educational attempts on community families and institutions and the consequent relationship between two confronting cultures: Cree/Ojibwa and Euro-Canadian. This provides a context in which events and attitudes can be placed and deepens our understanding of Indian issues--past and present. Day schools provide the most poignant setting for the observation of interactions between Indian and white society since children daily divided their time between their parents' homes and the day schools which attempted to immerse their students in Euro-Canadian culture.