Source: Nishnawbi Aski Nation
Focus: Grades 9-12
Summary: Long before Europeans came to North America, Aboriginal people had a highly developed system of education. Aboriginal Elders and parents passed on not only survival skills to their children, but their history, artistic ability, music, language, moral and religious values.
It is important to be aware of the beginnings of residential schools. Although residential schools were not officially set up until 1893, the roots of the residential school system actually reach back to the colonial governments before confederation. The idea that Indian boarding schools be set up and run jointly by the government of Canada and the churches was being discussed as early as the 1840’s.
“A formal church/government partnership was put into place to jointly manage an education system for Aboriginal children in Canada. The partnership between government/church lasted from 1892-1969. The schools were run by the Roman Catholic Church, Church of England (Anglican), United Church (Methodist), Presbyterian Church and Mennonites. They operated in every province but New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island.”
This site provides complete lesson plans inclusive of activities, worksheets, readings, handouts, tests, quizzes, assignments, rubrics, and so forth.
- To increase awareness of the residential school system as a major part of the European colonizing effort against Aboriginal peoples, resulting in significant intergenerational impacts.
- To increase awareness and understanding of what Nishnawbe Aski Nation members experienced while attending the 13 residential schools in the region.
- To promote awareness in reclaiming language, culture and skills lost as a result of residential schools.
- To promote individual healing in the context of rebuilding links with families, communities and Elders.