Source: Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF)
Focus: Senior students and communities
Summary: For over a century, beginning in the mid-1800s and continuing into the late 1990s, Aboriginal children in Canada were taken from their homes and communities, and were placed in institutions called residential schools. These schools were run by religious orders in collaboration with the federal government and were attended by children as young as four years of age.
This guide was developed under the auspices of a joint Indian residential school commemoration project of the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health and the Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF). The information and activities contained herein will give both facilitators and participants the resources they need to examine the history of the Residential School System and to recognize the impact it has had, and continues to have, on generations of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. This resource consists of six activities, each of which examines an aspect of the history or legacy of the Residential School System.
The Residential School System, as defined by the federal government, is limited to 139 schools that operated across Canada between 1831 and 1996. This definition is controversial and excludes provincially-administered schools, as well as hostels and day schools. Residential schools existed in almost all provinces and territories, and in the North also took the form of hostels and tent camps. The earliest recognized and longest-running Indian Residential School was the Mohawk Institute, in Brantford, Ontario, which operated from 1831 to 1962. The last federally-run Indian Residential School, Gordon’s School in Punnichy, Saskatchewan, closed in 1996, and was subsequently demolished, marking the end of the residential school era.