History of Residential Schools in Canada
Residential schools are a grim and disturbing chapter in the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The buried remains of 215 children recently discovered on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School are a sad reminder.
How much do you know about Residential Schools? Many of us have a lot to learn. Here are some resources that can help.
- Project of Heart examines the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada. It was created to commemorate the lives of Indigenous children who died as a result of the residential school experience. It includes a six step learning module, resources and Project of Heart: Illuminating the hidden history of Indian Residential Schools e-book.
- Every Child Matters Educational Package includes a magazine and educator’s guide based on the Seven Sacred Teachings. It is written by Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith, for students in grades 5-12. You can download in both English and French.
- Indian Residential Schools and Reconciliation Teacher Resource Guides were developed by the First Nations Education Steering Committee and First Nations Schools Association. Guides are available for Grade 5, Grade 10 and Grade 11/12.
- Plain Talk 6: Residential Schools is a learning module in the It’s Our Time Education Toolkit. This resource from the Assembly of First Nations includes a user guide, book, stories of survivors, apologies and recommended resources.
- The Orange Shirt Day website has links to a number of teacher resources that look at the experience and legacy of residential schools.
- Misconceptions of Canada’s Indian Residential School System is a poster from the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.
- They Came for the Children is a report by The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada on the history, purpose, operation and supervision of the residential school system, the effects and consequences of the system, and its ongoing legacy.
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation was established to be the steward of stories, memories and photos of residential school survivors, to continue research on the legacy of residential schools, and to promote public education.
- Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation and its accompanying Teachers’ Guide can be borrowed from the Decoda Library.
Find tips on talking with children about Residential Schools in the following video:
Find other resources on the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada in our earlier blog post.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on June 2, 2021 and was updated to include further resources on June 7, 2021.
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