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Indigenous Studies

Indigenous Studies is an interdisciplinary field grounded in the languages, histories, geographies, and contemporary experiences of Indigenous peoples

Residential Schools

Residential Schools: Overview

Residential Schools were a federally implemented institutionalization of Indigenous children in Canada. Children were forcibly taken from their families to distant boarding schools. Children were physically, emotionally, and sexually abused at these schools. Indigenous children had their culture stripped and were punished for speaking their language. The Canadian government slowly started replacing Residential School assimilation with a foster care and adoption assimilation policy now known as the 60's Scoop. The last Residential School closed it's doors in 1996.  

In late May 2021 a mass unmarked grave of 215 children was located at the site of Kamloops Residential School. Since then, other Residential School sites are being investigated with more unmarked mass graves being found. These events have opened public discussion regarding Residential Schools with public demonstrations occurring to support Residential School Survivors and their descendants.

For Residential School Survivors and their families this is an especially difficult time. Please seek support as needed. The Indian Residential School Survivor Society 24hr phone service is available at 1-866-925-4419.

Residential Schools: Web Resources

  1. Where are the Children?
  2. Residential Schools Land Memory Mapping Project
  3. Residential Schools Resources - Aboriginal Healing Foundation 
  4. The Children Remembered - United Church of Canada Archives
  5. Project of Heart: Illuminating the hidden history of Indian Residential Schools in British Columbia
  6. Report of the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples 
  7. Indigenous Statistics

Residential Schools: DVDs and Streaming

  1. Unrepentant: Kevin Annett and Canada's genocide - 1h 50min - DVD
  2. Project Eagle Feather: When they took the children - 52min - DVD
  3. Fallen Feather: Indian industrial Residential Schools Canadian Confederation 1h 34min - DVD 
  4. Secret Path - 1h - Curio streaming
  5. Indian Horse - 1h 41min - Criterion streaming
  6. Residential Schools series - 3min to 2h 43min clips - NFB streaming
  7. We Know the Truth: Stories to Inspire Reconciliation - 45min - CBC News Youtube


Book cover:  The fire still burns : life in and after residential school / Sam George with Jill Yonit Goldberg and Liam Belson, Dylan MacPhee, and Tanis Wilson
Book cover: 215 / Duncan Mercred
Book cover:  The orange shirt story / author, Phyllis Webstad ; illustrations, Brock Nicol
Book cover: Education of Augie Merasty:A residential school memoir
Book cover: sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential School and the challenge of conciliation
Book cover: National crime: The Canadian government and the Residential School system 1879 to 1986
Book cover: Finding my talk: how fourteen Native women reclaimed their lives after residential school
Book cover: Broken circle: the dark legacy of Indian residential schools : a memoir
Book cover: They called me number one : secrets and survival at an Indian residential school
Book cover: Kill the Indian, save the man : the genocidal impact of American Indian residential schools