Indian Residential School System

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Resources on the Indian Residential School System

Missing Children: What Does this mean for Canada?  

In this recording of “Missing Children: What does this mean for Canada?,” Dr. Cynthia Welsey-Esquimaux provides an update on the Missing Children and where we are at as a country when it comes to Truth and Reconciliation. Dr. Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux served as Vice Provost for Indigenous Initiatives at Lakehead University for three years. Effective September 2016, she was appointed as the 1st Indigenous Chair for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada for Lakehead University and she continues to develop pathways forward to reconciliation across Canada. 

Inedi (Short Documentary) 

Inedi is available on CBC Gem. With a pandemic threatening to take our elders, Sarain Fox gathers stories from her auntie and matriarch, Mary Bell. In Fox’s Anishinaabe culture, women lead the family. Her auntie, Mary Bell, is the oldest surviving matriarch, and she holds the family’s history: the stories, the trauma, the truth. Mary is a residential school survivor who worked with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to document the stories of other survivors. Elders are knowledge keepers, but they are also among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. The pandemic is threatening to cut a line of knowledge that has survived for generations. Fox reckons with this tension and her duty to sit with her auntie to document her stories before they are lost. 

We Were Children (Movie) 

In the movie We Were Children, the profound impact of the Canadian government’s residential school system is conveyed through the eyes of two children who were forced to face hardships beyond their years. As young children, Lyna and Glen were taken from their homes and placed in church-run boarding schools, where they suffered years of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, the effects of which persist in their adult lives. We Were Children gives voice to a national tragedy and demonstrates the incredible resilience of the human spirit. 


National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR)

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of the residential school experience will be honoured and kept safe for future generations. The NCTR was created as part of the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). The TRC was charged to listen to Survivors, their families, communities, and others affected by the residential school system and educate Canadians about their experiences. The resulting collection of statements, documents and other materials now forms the sacred heart of the NCTR.
Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) The Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) is a provincial organization in British Columbia with a twenty-year history of providing services to Indian Residential School Survivors. The IRSSS began in 1994 as a working committee of the First Nations Summit. They were known as the Residential School Project, housed out of and as a part of the BC First Nations Summit. Their work was primarily to assist Survivors with the litigation process pertaining to Residential School abuses. In more recent years their work has expanded to include assisting the descendants of Survivors and implementing Community education measures (Indigenous & non-Indigenous).
Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) is a national, Indigenous-led, charitable organization that has been working to promote healing and Reconciliation in Canada for more than 19 years. The LHF’s goal is to educate and raise awareness about the history and existing intergenerational impacts of the Residential School System and subsequent Sixties Scoop on Indigenous Survivors, their descendants, and their communities to promote healing and Reconciliation.
Reconciliation Canada Reconciliation Canada is an Indigenous-led organization that began in September 2012 with a bold vision to promote reconciliation by engaging Canadians in dialogue that revitalizes the relationships between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians to build vibrant, resilient, and sustainable communities. A vision based on a dream held by Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Reconciliation Canada’s Ambassador, to witness tens of thousands of people of every culture and faith walking together for a shared tomorrow.
Woodland Cultural Centre’s Save the Evidence Campaign Save the Evidence is a campaign to raise awareness and support for the restoration of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School, and to develop the building into an Interpreted Historic Site and Educational Resource. As a site of conscience, the final goal is to create a fully realized Interpretive Centre that will be the definitive destination for information about the history of Residential Schools in Canada, the experiences of Survivors of the schools, and the impact that the Residential School system has had on our communities.

Online Resources