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The purpose of the residential school system is obvious according to the 1897 Sessional Report from the Indian Commissioner: ..."the civilization of our native races...fitting for useful citizenship the youth of a people who one generation past were practically unrestrained savages." Yet Aboriginal children did not enter these schools uneducated: rather they were re-educated to fit a European model. This program of social engineering by the Canadian government can be characterized as ethnocide which refers to the deliberate attempt to eradicate the culture of a way of life of a people. It depends on the use of political power to force powerless people to give up their culture.