The residential school system
for Indigenous children and youth was a government-sponsored school system that was run by churches. The stated aim of the residential school system was to educate and convert Indigenous children to Christianity and assimilate them into non-Indigenous Canadian society. In doing so, the residential school system cut children off from having contact with their families, communities, and Indigenous cultures.
About 150 000 children attended over 130 residential schools in Canada from 1831 (when the first residential school opened) to 1996 (when the last residential school closed).
It is estimated that at least 6000 children died while in the care of a residential school. (♾
) Many children were maltreated and abused.
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
, which was mandated to document the residential school system's history and lasting impacts, described Canada's residential school system in its final report as a form of "cultural genocide." (♾
Visit the Canadian Encyclopedia website and read either the abbreviated
entry on the residential school system in Canada.
Then review the education-related Calls to Action
from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission below.