Create a dialogue between two individuals with differing views on either residential school upbringing, school language policy, hunting rights, or loss of Indian status after World War I.

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Since you’ve listed a number of different examples to choose from, I will focus on the first two options. Hopefully these points can help you decide which example to choose and give you a better understanding of what the differences of opinion would be in each dialogue.

A parent of a residential school student and a religious leader discussing child raising would have vastly different perspectives. In Indigenous cultures, children were raised in the context of their extended families and community. In residential schools, children were separated by gender and age; siblings were separated, and family ties were severed. In Indigenous cultures, children were raised with an understanding of Indigenous spirituality and traditions. Residential schools were run by Christian denominations, such as the Catholic and Anglican churches, and Christian doctrine was taught.

For many residential school teachers, the motive of running the residential school was to save the souls of Indigenous children, whom they believed would go to hell. In Indigenous cultures, children were often taught by example and through storytelling. In residential schools, children were subjected to strict rules, and physical abuse was often used as a means of discipline. In a dialogue, the Indigenous parent would be dealing with the loss of their child, while the religious leader would be convinced that a Christian residential school experience would be the best thing for the child.

The second example listed is to write a dialogue between a residential school student and their teacher, discussing what language can be used at school. A primary motive of residential schools was to destroy Indigenous culture and assimilate Indigenous children into Western culture. Clothing, hairstyle, keepsakes, and traditional items were all taken from children upon entry to the residential school.

In order to cut children off from the teachings of Indigenous elders and even their own parents, residential schools eroded children’s knowledge of their own language. This was done by strict rules forbidding the use of Indigenous language at the residential school, even between students. If children used their own language, they were often physically abused or humiliated. In your dialogue, the residential school teacher would be very adamant that the only acceptable language to use at school would be English or French (depending on where the residential school was located).

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