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Deepening Knowledge.

Residential Schools


Books: Fiction


By Nicola I. Campbell, 2005.

This beautifully illustrated storybook is about a young girl being reminded of her culture before being sent to residential school. Appropriate for young students.  (All grades)

Shin-chi's Canoe

By Nicola I. Campbell, 2008.

Shi Shi Etko prepares her little brother, who must follow her to residential school, by giving him something to help him remember his home.  A follow up to Shi-shi-etko. (All grades)

Fatty Legs: A True Story

By Christy Jordan-Fenton, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and Liz Amini-Holmes, 2010.

Although eight year-old Olemaun (OO-lee-mawn) hears ominous tales of the outsider's school, she wants nothing more than to learn how to read. When she's finally granted permission to leave her Inuvialuit people and attend the Anglican residential school, nothing can prepare her for the institution's intentional humiliations, nor the ridicule of her fellow students.  (Link to Blog)

As Long as the Rivers Flow

by Larry Loyie, 2002.

This autobiographical short chapter book tells the story of a young boy and his last summer at home with his family, before being taken away to residential school. The story is full of information about Cree practices and traditions and is also about a resourceful, skilled and wise First Nations community that values the environment and each other. (Grade 1 and up)


Film & Video

Survivor Testimony

YouTube, 2016 (3:47 min)

Survivor Michael Cheena speaks about his experience in residential schools.

Unseen Tears trailer.  YouTube (2:05 mins) (Grade 7 and up)

Older Than America trailer. YouTube (7:16 mins)


US Guilty of Genocide. YouTube (6:25 mins)


Indian Boarding School Abuse. YouTube (4:20 mins)


Kill the Indian, Save the Man. YouTube (4:57 mins)


Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other Canadian political leaders apologizing for residential schools. Phil Fontaine, former chief of AFN speaks as well. June 11 2008.  Video from CPAC. (10:42 mins) (Grade 8 and up) 



From YouTube:  "This is a trailer from a full length award-winning documentary on the planned extermination of aboriginal people by church and state in Canada. The film is told through the eyes of survivors of this genocide, and a former minister who tried to hold his church accountable for its crimes."  (Grade 7 and up)


Canada: A People's History Series

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2000. (Grade 6 and up)

See also their teacher section, which includes links to resources.


Where the Spirit Lives

Made for TV movie, 1989.

From the ScreenDoor website: "Set in 1937 amid the rugged beauty of Western Canada, WHERE THE SPIRIT LIVES is the uplifting story of Komi, a courageous young Blackfoot girl. Taken from her home on the reserve, she is sent by the government to an English-speaking residential school and re-named Amelia.  With only the help of Kathleen, a compassionate schoolteacher, Amelia must find within herself the courage to live in what white society calls civilization, and what to her is a foreign and hostile environment."  (Grade 8 and up)



Aboriginal Healing Foundation

Aboriginal Healing Foundation provided funding to projects which facilitated community healing. Although the foundation is currently winding down its operations, the website provides information about projects they have funded, and its own history of funding with the federal government.

Where Are the Children.

From the website:  "Silence is more often than not an expression of hurt or pain kept inside. This web site attempts to give voice to the untold stories of so many Aboriginal boys and girls who attended residential schools in Canada from 1831 to the 1990's.” 

A well-made flash site with many interactive features for students. Includes a virtual 3D tour of a real residential school, provincial-specific maps and timelines. (html option available) (Grade 6 and up)

1000 Conversations

From the website:  “1000 Conversations is a national campaign intended to engage all Canadians in a dialogue about the history of residential schools, their resulting impacts and the need for healing and reconciliation." 

This website has a link to a brief history of residential schools and ways to start conversations about healing in your own community.  Inspirational cards and ideas are available for students. (All grades)

Legacy of Hope Foundation.

From the website: "A national Aboriginal charitable organization whose purposes are to educate, raise awareness and understanding of the legacy of residential schools, including the effects and intergenerational impacts on First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and to support the ongoing healing process of Residential School Survivors.” 

This website includes free resources, an updated national events listing, a section on teaching about residential schools (click here), information about residential schools, and information on what is being done today to facilitate survivor healing.  (All grades)


Truth and Reconciliation: Commission of Canada

This website  includes news about Canada’s TRC, its events, and publications. The site is in English and French. (Grade 9 and up)

CBC News Canada

This is a 'frequently asked questions' page on residential schools (Grade 6 and up)


We Are Not the Savages

Dr. Daniel N. Paul states, "It’s my fervent hope that information contained in these Web pages will help users acquire a better understanding of the history, hopes, and aspirations of First Nation Peoples.”

Written by a Mi’kmaq elder, this website talks about events specific to the east coast of Canada and the Mi’kmaq people. Warning: the history related to the province of Nova Scotia’s treatment of Indigenous people is at times deeply violent. (Grade 9 and up)



Where Medicine Men Tread: The History of Canada’s Native Nations.  London, ON: A-V


News Articles

Film Shows Youth Views of Nation School Survivors

CBC News, June 29, 2011.

At a meeting of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Inuvik, N.W.T, two adolescents discussed their documentary of what non-Aboriginal youth thought of residential school survivors. (Grade 8 and up)



Teach with Picture Books

This blog includes information on the story Fatty Legs: ATrue Story


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