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Residential Schools

This guide contains resources about residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Featured Books from Your ATA Library

In This Together

Chief Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the TRC, says that the most common statement the commission heard from the public was: "I didn't know any of this, and I acknowledge that things are not where they should be, and that we can do better. But what can we do? What should we do?" This collection of fifteen true stories of real reconciliation by both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Canadians is in response to that question. Written by journalists, writers, academics, visual artists, filmmakers, a city planner, and a lawyer, each of these writers expound on their 'light bulb moments' regarding Canada's colonial past and present.

Knowing the Past, Facing the Future

In 1867, Canada’s federal government became responsible for the education of Indigenous peoples: Status Indians and some Métis would attend schools on reserves; non-Status Indians and some Métis would attend provincial schools. The chapters in this collection – some reflective, some piercing, all of them insightful – show that this system set the stage for decades of broken promises and misguided experiments that are only now being rectified in the spirit of truth and reconciliation. The contributors individually explore what must change in order to work toward reconciliation; collectively, they reveal the possibilities and challenges associated with incorporating Traditional Knowledge and Indigenous teaching and healing practices into school courses and programs.

Truth and Reconciliation in Canadian Schools

Pamela Toulouse provides current information, personal insights, authentic resources, interactive strategies and lesson plans that support Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners in the classroom. This book is for all teachers that are looking for ways to respectfully infuse residential school history, treaty education, Indigenous contributions, Indigenous perspectives, and sacred circle teachings into their classrooms.

Residential Schools and Reconciliation

Since the 1980s successive Canadian institutions, including the federal government and Christian churches, have attempted to grapple with the malignant legacy of residential schooling, including official apologies, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). In this book, Miller reveals a major obstacle to achieving reconciliation--the inability of Canadians at large to overcome their flawed, overly positive understanding of their country's history.

This Benevolent Experiment

With the goal of permanently transforming Indigenous young people into Europeanized colonial subjects, residential schools were ultimately a means for eliminating Indigenous communities as obstacles to land acquisition, resource extraction, and nation building. The genocidal project inherent in these boarding schools, however, did not unfold in either the United States or Canada without diversion, resistance, and unintended consequences.

Power through Testimony

Power through Testimony documents how survivors are remembering and reframing our understanding of residential schools in the wake of the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which includes the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a forum for survivors, families, and communities to share their memories and stories with the Canadian public.

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