Residential School Awareness
On 27 May, 2021 the Tk’emlúps te Secwe´pemc confirmed the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. On 25 June 2021 another 751 unmarked graves were confirmed at the site of a former residential school on Cowessess First Nation. Out of respect for the deceased and their families, NPI offers the resources below to help those who are suffering, and to educate those who wish to learn more about the ongoing tragedy that is residential schools in Canada.
The coming year will be yet another difficult one in the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples. The pain of residential schools will be made new again for some, made exponentially worse for others. The federal and provincial governments must act quickly to confirm the location and extent of these unmarked burial sites. From there, efforts to commemorate these scenes of tragedy and horror and to make every effort to identify those who were lost and left unmarked should go forward. But those commemoration and repatriation efforts, as the federal government has already committed, should move forward “at the pace of the communities
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- The Indian Residential School Survivors Society, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-721-0066.
- A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line set up to provide support for former students and anyone affected. You can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.
- An interactive map by Canadian Geographic, it shows the residential schools in Canada, along with the years they operated for and survivor stories.
- The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation provides a brief history on the residential school system along with pictures and a time line.
- Assembly of First Nations (AFN) within the “It’s Our Time” educational toolkit. Here they provide a series of free downloads about residential schools, the history, Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), stories from survivors, Canada’s apology, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
- Source by the AFN: A brief history of the residential school system, including recent updates into the settlements and processes for repayment.
- Resource from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, offers downloads for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Reports. It also includes modern and historic reports, and reports by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.
- Maps of Indigenous territories, treaties and languages across the globe.
- First Nations Health Authority: Offers support services for residential school survivors. Includes the TRC’s Calls to Action report, along with the various health, cultural, emotional, counselling, and transportation supports.
- The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society: Offers an Indigenous Knowledge Portal with educational resources, informational sheets and videos about the history of First Nations in Canada.
- Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) - Provides information to show the history of treaty-making in Canada, from 1534 onwards.
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including its history and commemorations. 144 countries were in favour and 4 voted against (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United States). Canada did not sign on to UNDRIP for almost ten years.
- Bishop Horden Hall (Moose Factory Island)
- Cecilia Jeffrey (Kenora)
- Cristal Lake (in Northwestern Ontario)
- Fort Frances
- Fort William
- McIntosh (near Kenora)
- Pelican Lake (Sioux Lookout)
- Poplar Hill
- St. Anne’s (Fort Albany)
- St. Mary’s (Kenora)
- Shingwauk (Sault Ste. Marie)
- Spanish Boys’ School (Spanish)
- Spanish Girls’ School (Spanish)
- Stirland Lake
- Mohawk Institute (Brantford)
Mount Elgin (Munceytown, near Mount Elgin)
For a full list of residential schools across Canada: Click here