Did you know the Residential Boarding Schools for Children were International?

Did you know the Residential Boarding Schools for Children were International?

Residential schools – or in some countries called boarding schools- where abuse, murder and suicide of their charges occurred (role of churches- racism).

They were located in USA, Canada, Latin Americas, Australia, NZ, Scandinavia, Russian Federation, Asia, Middle East, Africa
Their aim was to assimilate the children into the churches involved and into the culture of power for the govts involved.

They began about the time of the Reformation or Counter-Reformation when the church split apart and were fighting for the souls of mostly Europe. And they moved beyond that to become ‘missionaries’ to gather more souls around the world for their vision of what the church was.

People who had just been torturing and killing the dissenters in the name of saving their souls began teaching children with hardly a breath between.

Not that they were a homogenous group though…. I’m sure some were genuinely kind, caring, concerned care-takers. Some learned from their charges too. While others were zealots. And some? Were just sick, having no business being around children.

The school? It was meant to teach the children the languages ad beliefs of the church, the country, and to teach them life-skills they could use to fit into the cultures of their country. To engage with the people.

That’s not so bad an aim…. but boy did it turn out wrong!

resources and quotes

…… church schools

(spread out after the Reformation and Counter-Reformation)

  • Jesuits – In 1548, just a little over 450 years ago, ten members of the recently founded Society of Jesus opened the first Jesuit school in Messina in Sicily
    fairfield edu
  • Franciscan priests founded a series of missions in Florida after 1573, mainly along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The first missions in New Mexico were established by friars accompanying Oñate’s expedition of 1598; during the next 100 years Franciscan priests founded more than 40 additional missions, most of them along the Rio Grande
    1. In that year the Recollect Order of Franciscans (Roman Catholic) established a boarding school at Quebec, which they operated until 1629.
  • By 1636 the Jesuits established a boarding school at Quebec and accepted several students, including several orphans. Many parents refused to send their children to the school as it was too far away and the children would have “to live with strangers, quite different from them in their habits and customs”. The Aboriginal people were also concerned about how their children were treated while at school. By 1639 the Jesuits changed their idea about converting the Aboriginal people through the education of their children at a boarding school.
  • St. Lawrence River was made by the Ursuline Sisters, who had come to Quebec in 1639[4]. They established a school for girls within a few months after their arrival and recruited six female students in the first year. Tow years later there were 48 girls attending the school and the Sisters were able to move to a three-story convent in Quebec City in 1642. The school flourished under the direction of Sister Marie de l’Incarnation from 1640 to 1673.
  • the Capuchins educated French and Micmac students at separate institutions in Acadia during the early 1600s; the Congregation of Notre Dame, founded by Marguerite Bourgeoys, operated girls’ school in Montreal called “Le Montagne” in 1660; and the Sulpicians operated a boys’ school in Montreal until 1677. Most of these schools did not continue to operate for very long.

….. Upper Canada and the Churches

Upper Canada was the predecessor of modern-day Ontario. It was created in 1791 by the division of the old Province of Quebec into Lower Canada in the east and Upper Canada in the west. Upper Canada was a wilderness society settled largely by Loyalists and land-hungry farmers moving north from the United States.

…..The Mohawk Institute

When did the first residential school in ‘Upper Canada’ open? The Mohawk Institute in Brantford, Ontario, accepted its first boarding students in 1831.

….. the schools

The Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches operated the majority of the residential schools even before the Indian Act of Canada made such schools the official government policy. These churches ran the two largest religious organizations behind the residential schools: the Roman Catholic Oblates Order of Mary Immaculate and the Church Missionary Society of the Anglican Church (the Church of England).
facing history

….Oblates of Mary Immaculate, (O.M.I.),

one of the largest missionary congregations of the Roman Catholic Church, inaugurated at Aix-en-Provence, Fr., on Jan. 25, 1816, as the Missionary Society of Provence by Charles-Joseph-Eugène de Mazenod. By preaching to the poor, especially in rural areas, Mazenod hoped to renew the life of the church after the French Revolution.

…….Church Missionary Society of the Anglican Church

society founded in London in 1799 as the Society for Missions in Africa and the East, by Evangelical clergy of the Church of England (those who stressed biblical faith, personal conversion, and piety). In 1812 it was renamed the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East.

….other Catholic orders involved

The Jesuit movement was founded by Ignatius de Loyola, a Spanish soldier turned priest, in August 1534. The first Jesuits–Ignatius and six of his students–took vows of poverty and chastity and made plans to work for the conversion of Muslims.


Franciscan, any member of a Roman Catholic religious order founded in the early 13th century by St. … Francis of Assisi. The Franciscan order is one of the four great mendicant orders of the church, and its members strive to cultivate the ideals of poverty and charity.


Récollets, a reformed branch of the Franciscan family, came to France at the end of the 16th century. The main objective of the Récollets was to observe more strictly the Rule of St Francis, and like other semiautonomous branches, they came under the minister general of the Franciscans. The Récollets came to New France in 1615 and were present at various times in Acadia, Newfoundland and Québec. Missionaries and preachers, they were known for their simple and austere life; however, in 1763 British authorities forbade them to receive novices, and thus the order disappeared in 1848 when the last Canadian Récollet died in Montréal.


The Capuchin Franciscan Order began in 1528 as a renewal of the Order of Friars Minor. The friars of this reform movement wanted a life more focused on prayer and a stricter observance of poverty.


Ursuline Sisters – Named in tribute to Saint Ursula, the Ursulines are a Roman Catholic female religious order devoted to the Catholic education of girls. Saint Angela Merici founded the order in 1535 in Brescia, then part of the Republic of Venice.


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