\”I was given that porridge I got sick on and I had to eat that … And if you don\’t eat, then you\’re going to get beat up some more, and you\’re going to get punished – and if you throw up again you\’re going to have to eat that too, so what choice do you have?\”Metatawabin, 66, says at times he and his classmates were forced to sit in an electric chair – either as punishment or as entertainment for the staff at St Anne\’s Indian Residential School, which operated from the early 1900s to 1976 in northern Ontario province. Now, Metatawabin says, the government is hiding information about the school.St Anne\’s was part of a government-supported school system to \”assimilate\” aboriginal children. About 150,000 indigenous children were forcibly removed from their families by the federal government for decades starting in the 1800s and put into church-run \”residential schools\”.Many suffered physical and sexual abuse and squalid living conditions, and a Truth and Reconciliation Committee recently said at least 4,000 children died – a number that could be much higher.
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