For more than 160 years, over 150,000 Indigenous children were removed from their families and communities and sent to residential schools across Canada. These schools were “government-sponsored religious schools that were established to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture” (From Miller, The Canadian Encyclopedia: Residential School in Canada 2021, para. 1). Although the last school closed in 1996, the devastation and residual impact from these experiences has continued to negatively affect not only the Indigenous survivor, but also their families and communities. In 2007, the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement implemented, leading to the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and resulting in a formal apology Prime Minister Stephan Harper in 2008.
This collection of resources provides information about the history and impact of the residential school system in Canada.