the canadian rabbit-proof fence

June 11, 2008

I think every country with an aboriginal population has struggled and continues to struggle with reconciling their existence and way of life with that of mainstream society. Canada today apologized for forcing more than 100,000 children to attend Christian boarding schools from the 19th century until the 1970s. A similar story was told in the 2002 Australian film Rabbit-Proof Fence.

I don’t know how much such a apology helps in practical terms but certainly the awareness – of separated families and widespread abuse – does. The picture above shows ‘aboriginal students and families at a schoolhouse in the prairies area’, date unknown. More in this heartbreaking series of photos on BBC News tells the story of just a handful of these children pictorially.

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