Residential Schools: A Sad Chapter in Canadian History

After collecting testimonies, over a six-year period, of the abuse suffered by former students of First Nations residential schools, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its summary report on June 2, 2015.

The commission concludes that residential schools were a key tool of cultural genocide against Canada's First Nations, and that only a major recommitment by the government of Canada to allow them access to equal opportunities can pave the way towards true reconciliation.

Since the late 19th century, about 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their families and forcibly sent to residential schools. The last residential school, near Regina, closed its doors in 1996.

The commission traveled across the country not only to hear from former students of First Nations residential schools, but also to facilitate reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

This collection provides a concise overview of this dark page in Canadian history.

  • 2015
  • 13-14
  • 22 Titles

Teacher Guide(s)

  • Canada's Residential School Apology

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  • Residential Schools: Truth and Healing

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Included in this collection

The National Indian day school survivors await settlement

It’s taken a decade to hammer out a compensation package for survivors of Indian day schools, but this week a federal court in Winnipeg is holding hearings on a tentative settlement worth $1.4 billion.
  • 2019
  • 00:02:11
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 07/23/2019

The National A Canadian artist's efforts to capture stories of survival

A Saskatoon artist is using her portraits to examine two groups that suffered through oppression; in a way, bringing them face to face.
  • 2019
  • 00:03:01
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 05/28/2019

The National Residential school survivor in search of apology from Pope Francis

As the Pope prepares for a historic summit on sexual abuse in the priesthood, a Canadian Indigenous woman is getting ready to take her painful story to the Vatican in search of an apology from the head of the Catholic Church.
  • 2019
  • 00:02:43
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 03/25/2019

Missing & Murdered Finding Cleo, Episode 7: Lillian

Connie's chance meeting with the father who Cleo never knew is followed by new revelations about the Semaganis children's biological mother, Lillian. A picture begins to emerge about why her children were taken, and when she joined the fight to stop the adoption of more Indigenous children into white homes.
  • 2018
  • 00:31:44
  • 15-17
  • Added on: 06/15/2018

The National Catholic bishops offer no clarity on residential school apology

Catholic bishops weren't able to offer any clarity on a potential apology for the church's role in Canada's residential schools. During a news conference, the bishops appeared to try and distance the church from its ties to the schools. Despite the setback, Indigenous leaders say they won't stop seeking an apology from the Vatican.
  • 2018
  • 00:02:08
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 05/23/2018

The Current Senator Lynn Beyak’s remarks 'like a slap in the face': Matilda Wilson

Matilda Wilson, a residential school survivor from Smithers, B.C., rose to speak at a public forum hosted by CBC's The Current. She called Senator Lynn Beyak's comments in defence of the "well-intentioned" people who ran the residential school system "a slap in the face." Wilson shared her own experience being taken to a residential school in 1956, as well as the ...
  • 2017
  • 00:01:03
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 09/13/2017

The Current Why don't residential school survivors just get over it?: Murray Sinclair

To those who ask why Indigenous people don't just "get over" the residential school experience, Senator Murray Sinclair has this response: "My answer has always been: Why can't you always remember this?" Sinclair was speaking at one of The Current's public forums on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG).
  • 2017
  • 00:01:32
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 09/13/2017

We Are Canada We Are Canada, Episode 6

Putting seed production back in the hands of the small farmer; preserving the stories of residential school survivors; and building cameras for a new frontier of ocean discovery. In this episode: Adam Gobi, Jane Rabinowicz and Ry Moran.  
  • 2017
  • 00:44:08
  • 13-14
  • Added on: 05/25/2017

Teacher Guide(s)

  • We are Canada Teacher Guide