The Canadian Residential schools are known to be the darkest part of Canada’s past. These schools were also known as ” The Canadian Holocaust.” Residential schools were sponsored by the Canadian Government to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian society. These students were isolated, forced to leave their families, and their homes, and unable to practice their culture, and in most places unable to practice their first language. To this day these schools continue to haunt the Indigenous people of Canada due to sexual, verbal, and physical abuse. This movement by the government has many detrimental effects on Indigenous people today. The survivors, if “survivors” at all are left with the nightmare that these schools are left to deal with depression and a haunted by their childhood. The creation of these schools, resulted in the loss of the Indigenous roots and culture. Many alumni students from the Residential schools now live with suicidal thoughts and other thoughts that come with depression. These schools will forever have a negative impact on the country of Canada. Residential schools are the darkest part of Canada’s past and it is now time that people are educated about them.The ultimate goal of these Residential schools was to assimilate Indigenous people into Euro-Canadian society. The Canadian government stripped Aboriginal children of their cultures traditions and ways of life. The Canadian Government wanted to place these schools in these kids lives at a young age to ensure that their roots and culture would be abolished. The first step in this process was to change the child’s physical appearance. The children were stripped of their traditional long hair and placed in clothes in which european children would wear. The indigenous children were also forced to annihilate their native tongue. Or as many alumni students may say, “Stripping us of our mother tongue, and forcing us to speak english.” Lorna Rope who was a past student at a Canadian Residential School stated that Residential school stated that she felt like the fact she was unable to speak her native language she felt as if she was losing her identity. SHe also stated that the residential schools made her and the other children feel very lonely.From the first recorded Residential school in 1876, to the last known school in 1996, approximately 30 percent (or about 150,000) children were placed in residential schools and forced to assimilate into the Canadian way of life. It stripped them of their language, tradition, and appearance in order to create a dominant Canadian country with only European culture. During the residential school period, Canada lost a complete generation of Aboriginal people. The children lost the feeling of love as they were forcefully taken from their homes and sometimes even split up from their siblings. The whole aim was ¨to kill the Indian out of the child”. The worst part is that our Canadian Government System was the major cause of the pain and suffering many Aboriginals faced. Creating a dominant Canadian society comes at all costs. The sexual and physical abuse that followed was never planned by the government, but people must realize that the Canadian government was the sole cause to this “Holocaust”. Residential schools had many detrimental effects on the victims. Fred Brass described his years at the residential school in Kamsack, Saskatchewan, as “hellish”. During his interview with Global News, it is clear that Fred experienced physical and verbal abuse during school. 6,2000 former students of residential schools shared their horrific story in their own words. The sexual, verbal, and physical abuse stripped the young children from their roots. A major problem with Canadian residential schools was the effects it had afterword. Aboriginals were so damaged from the treatment at these schools that they found it unbearable to live. The survivors experienced times so low that the only way out was to end their life; a life so precious all thrown away to finally terminate those scars. Ending one’s life is the last resort to ease their pain and hide the voices that have haunted them during their experience at these schools. Many victims did turn to this last option, suicide. Studies done by the First Nations Regional Health survey have shown that residential schools destroyed the children’s self esteem, this in return has manifested itself into self harm. High rates of suicide and self inflicted harm arose from the survivors. Health Canada states that within Aboriginal people aged 10-44, suicide and self harm is the number one cause of death, being responsible for 40% of all Indigenous mortality. Aboriginal women commit suicide 8 times more than other Canadian women, while men commit suicide 5 times more than other Canadian men. Some reserves in Canada even deal with suicide epidemics. Survivors of residential schools were left with a mind set of “un belonging”. Having been stripped from all Aboriginal culture and roots, made it hard for the victims to forget about their bone chilling past. Canada has ignored this major effect of residential schools. It has only been in the last 10 years that Canada has noticed the help that many survivors are in need of. Things like the Reconciliation Committee finally responded to the abuse inflicted on the Indigenous people at Residential schools. Reconciliation Commissions are used around the world in situations where countries want to reconcile and resolve legacies that have left harm. Also, they help Aboriginals deal with the after effects they face, like depression and suicidal thoughts. Despite the help, years went on and more and more families seemed to be torn apart due to this everlasting negative effect of residential schools. Residential schools have severely impacted Canadian history, and will forever be remembered as Canada’s greatest mistake. The victims involved are often in disgust of their memories that stick with them. The pain they face can only be erased in the mind and body temporarily due to the non-convenient sources of help. A major impact of residential schools that occur in Canada today are substance abuse. Many Indigenous residential school survivors have turned to abusing substances like alcohol or drugs. Alcohol affects the central nervous system, similar to the way other depressant drugs do by slowing down the parts of the brain that control a human’s thinking and behavior. This provides the user a phenomenal sense of euphoria; temporarily erasing the pain. Drugs are chemicals that affect the brain by tapping into your communication systems and interfering with the way neurons normally send, this includes receiving and processing information. Overall, providing an even more intense form of temporary relief. It’s not very hard to understand why alcohol and drugs are abused so much in Canada when there is so many communities and families that have been negatively impacted by residential schools. The abuse residential school survivors endured was too much for some to handle. About 70% of Indigenous adults living on reserves feel an imbalance physically, mentally and spiritually. As well as 75% of Indigenous people feel alcohol or drugs is an issue in their community. 33% admit to alcohol being a household issue and 25% say they have a personal alcohol issue. This trend is a recurring issue. It is clear that the adult Indigenous generation is full of residential school survivors. From their suffering, they are passing down the image of excessive substance abuse. This is being followed by the youth and essentially creating a snowball effect. If the reduction and usage of substance in reserves can decrease, we could begin to notice Canada’s major Aboriginal alcohol issues drop. In order for this to happen, the government must step in and take serious measures to ensure a safe and healthy lifestyle for Canada’s Indigenous people. This must begin with helping those affected by residential schools heal. No one can ever begin to imagine the pain and terror that residential school victims went through, other than the victimized children themselves. Residential schools have left a scar on Canadian history and will forever negatively impact Canada. It is clear that residential schools carry a historical burden, but many people do not want to talk about Canada’s biggest mistake. Many Aboriginal survivors faced some of the hardest days at these residential schools. It has been twenty years since the last recorded residential school was in place, and Canada still faces many victims with social and personal problems. The Canadian Government System caused the biggest mistake in Canadian history, this mistake had many life long effects on the victims, and will forever impact our Canadian society. There is nothing anyone can do that will be able to wash away the pain and suffering that the residential school victims endured. One of the most detrimental events in Canadian history took place 141 years ago. This event can never be taken back and will haunt Aboriginal lives for many years to follow, but Canada as a nation can try everyday to correct the wrongful doings of the past.