Residential Schools

This page of information about residentials schools is compiled in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 59:

We call upon church parties to the Settlement Agreement to develop ongoing education strategies to ensure that their respective congregations learn about their church's role in colonization, the history and legacy of residential schools, and why apologies to former residential school students, their families, and communities were necessary.

 

Kispiox-Totem carved wooden pole depicting a human form with tears, in a dry grassy field, with blue sky and trees in the background

Indigenous Authors

  • The Education of Augie Merasty:  A Residential School Memoir by Joseph Auguste (Augie) Merasty (2015) A Cree man recounts the cruelty he faced as a child at a Saskatchewan residential school
  • Five Little Indians by Michelle Good (2020) Follows five children as they move from residential school to finding their way in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside
  • Following the Good River: The Life and Times of Wa'xaid by Briony Penn (2020) Wa'xaid (Cecil Paul) attended the United Church run residential school in Kitamaat
  • From Our Mothers' Arms:  The Integenerational Impact of Residential Schools in Saskatchewan by Constance Deiter (1999) A collection of personal stories recounting experiences of Residential school survivors in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Pennsylvania
  • In the Shadow of the Red Brick Building by Raymond Tony Charlie (2022) Through his own story of attending Kuper Island and St. Mary's residential schools in B.C., a respected Penelakut elder draws attention to how many of the current struggles of Indigenous peoples are a direct result of the residential school system.
  • Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese (2012) A northern Ojibway boy experiences the losses of family and culture through residential school, and finds joy and strength in the game of hockey
  • These Mountains Are Our Sacred Places: The Story of the Stoney People by Chief John Snow (1977) A history of the Stoney people prior to white contact and after the signing of Treaty 7 in 1876
  • They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars (2013) Personal stories of three women who attended St. Joseph’s Mission school in Williams Lake, B.C.

General

  • Residential Schools and Reconciliation by J.R. Miller (2017) Deals with the events leading up to the settlement agreement and beyond
  • A Knock on the Door (2015) Historical account published by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • Back to the Red Road by Florence Kaefer and Edward Gamblin (2014) The account of a former teacher at Norway House Indian Residential School, who develops a relationship with one of the survivors of the school
  • The Awakening of Elizabeth Shaw [film] by Eva Manly (1996) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6h3nHGIeec A white woman’s response to unfair and inhumane treatment she witnessed while serving as Matron of the Crosby Boys’ Home at Lax Kw’alaams (Port Simpson) in the 1890s
  • Unsettling the Settler Within by Paulette Regan (2011) For non-Indigenous Canadians interested in what it means to decolonize
  • A National Crime, 2nd ed., by John Milloy (2017) Comprehensive examination of the Indian Residential School system in Canada, from the 1880s to the 1980s
  • See also Milloy’s Canadian Encyclopedia entry

Websites

 

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