Study time at Native residential school, (Fort) Resolution, NWT
© Public Domain Credit: Library and Archives Canada, PA-042133

Residential schools are a known fact by many Canadians, and through the work of many initiatives and especially the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), the reality of those tragedies is coming more and more into focus.  Now is the time to move from this darkness into light, where all Canadians find a way to leave the past behind us and create forgiveness and cultural respect for our future.

Canadians can create a new legacy for children of all nations and cultures by joining hands in an open process of dialogue and truth-telling, of reconciliation. The TRC estimates that 80,000 survivors of residential schools live in all regions of Canada today, and many other faiths and cultures have suffered in our borders, too. Canadians need to hear their stories and find ways to ensure our collective future rests on a solid foundation of respect, openness, and trust. For the sake of our children and future generations, we can build a stronger Canada.

Quick Facts on Residential Schools

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  • Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their homes by RCMP. 1
  • 150,000 Indigenous children were taken from their families. 3
  • 90 to 100% suffered severe physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. 1
  • There was a 40 – 60% mortality rate in Indian residential schools. 1
  • Residential schools date back to the 1870s. 3
  • Over 130 residential schools were located across Canada, and the last school closed as recently as 1996. 3
  • Two-thirds of Canadians believe (and four in ten strongly believe) that Canadians with no experience in Indian residential schools have a role to play in reconciliation between Indigenous peoples and all Canadians. 2

1 Dr. Bryce Report 1907, Medical Inspector, Department of Indian Affairs
2 2008 National Benchmark Survey, Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada
3 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada