A Curious case of "integrating" the integrated: government education policy and the school at Telegraph Creek, British Columbia, 1906-1951




Chapple, Eve

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This thesis explores the unique circumstances surrounding the provincial school at Telegraph Creek in northwestern British Columbia. Initially conceived as a school for the children of white settlers, local trustees permitted the attendance of Tahltan children year after year to maintain the minimum enrollment requirement to receive provincial funding. Combined with an annual tuition grant from the Department of Indian Affairs for the schooling of status Indian children, the Telegraph Creek public school functioned as an integrated school until provincial, federal, and missionary authorities interfered in the 1940s. The research demonstrates how decisions made by both provincial and Indian Affairs education officials leading up to the 1949 cost-sharing agreement to build a new school at Telegraph Creek, were far from benign. Indigenous children in northwest British Columbia became the objects of a post-war educational policy, which promoted integrated schooling and ironically, facilitated segregated schooling.



British Columbia, education, Indigenous schooling, policy, Tahltan, Telegraph Creek