Thursday, June 30, 2016

Prolonging the error

A Canadian Press report in the June 29, 2016 issue of the Toronto Star claims that the First Nations residential schools were designed to "take the Indian out of the child." Neither CP nor the Star checked their facts. It's irresponsible to place non-attributable words in quotation marks.

No authoritative Canadian ever uttered that statement. Leading the charge was former prime minister Stephen Harper who voiced it in the House of Commons, and the agony of error more recently prolonged by Ontario Premier Elizabeth Wynne.

What to do when the tide of media and political error runs high? Let's try the whole truth.

From"The legacy of Duncan Campbell Scott" by Mark Abley: "The quotation can be traced back to a somewhat different statement uttered by a high-ranking officer in the U.S. Army, Richard Henry Pratt, the nineteenth-century superintendent of a residential school in Pennsylvania: All the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man."

Not a Canadian in sight, but why spoil a good story?

No comments: