Aboriginal people have lived in the area now known as B.C. for more than 10,000 years. They developed their own societies, cultures, territories and laws. When European explorers and settlers first came to B.C. in the mid-18th century, the province was home to thousands of Aboriginal people.
-Tell me about Aboriginal Culture
The aboriginal people in British Columbia are the people who first came here and made it their land. They were peaceful and happy for a long period of time but then the Europeans came and changed everything. They built schools for the children so they would forget everything they knew about their cultures and think only about the European culture. They forced them to learn a new language and never speak their old language or speak anything about their old cultures.
-What were Residential Schools?
Residential Schools are what the Europeans built to teach the Aboriginal people the European ways. The boys and girls were split up. The children were taken from their homes for the whole school year starting at the age of 5 until the age of 18. They were beaten and punished if they did something bad.
-What happened to families?
The families of the children who went to the residential schools were torn apart. The parents wished they could do something for their kids to get out of that horrible place where they were punished and beaten. But you see, they couldn't help their children or at least, get them out of the school because the children were forced to go it was the law. The parents couldn't do anything and they were devastated.
-Whose land are we on?
British Columbia is on the coast salish land.