A national crime: The Canadian government and the residential school system 1879-1986

For over 100 years, thousands of Aboriginal children passed through the Canadian residential school system. Begun in the 1870s, it was intended, in the words of government officials, to bring these children into the “circle of civilization,” the results, however, were far different. More often, the schools provided an inferior education in an atmosphere of […]

My decade at Old Sun, my lifetime of hell

My Decade at Old Sun, My Lifetime of Hell is a simple and outspoken account of the sexual and psychological abuse that Arthur Bear Chief suffered during his time at Old Sun Residential school in Gleichen on the Siksika Nation. In a series of chronological vignettes, Bear Chief depicts the punishment, cruelty, abuse, and injustice […]

Where are the children? Healing the legacy of the residential schools

Book includes photographs of Indian, Inuit and Metis children at residential schools. Photographs are accompanied by written text: the historical background of residential schools; interviews and profiles of contemporary role models who shared the residential school experience; and accounts of healing from these experiences.

Apology to Aboriginal Canadians: Formal apology for residential schools

On June 11, 2008, Canada’s Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, publicly apologized to Canada’s Indigenous Peoples for the IRS system, admitting that residential schools were part of a Canadian policy on forced Indigenous assimilation.

Suicidal thoughts and attempts in First Nations communities: Links to parental Indian residential school attendance across development.

The Indian residential school (IRS) system in Canada ran for over a century until the last school closed in 1996. Conditions in the IRSs resulted in generations of Indigenous children being exposed to chronic childhood adversity. The current investigation used data from the 2008–2010 First Nations Regional Health Survey to explore whether parental IRS attendance […]

Seven fallen feathers: Racism, death and hard truths in a northern city.

In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied. More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died […]

The circle game: Shadows and substance in the Indian residential school experience in Canada.

Was the residential school era a misguided feature of Canada’s generous humanitarian inclinations toward Aboriginal peoples? Were the notorious brutal acts of the operators of these schools the sporadic and isolated deeds of a few malign individuals? The authors of The Circle Game shout a resounding “No!” to these and related questions, arguing that existing […]

Suicide ideation and attempts among First Nations peoples living on-reserve in Canada: The intergenerational and cumulative effects of Indian residential schools.

OBJECTIVE: Suicide rates among Indigenous peoples in Canada are at least twice that of their non-Indigenous counterparts. Although contemporary stressors contribute to this increased risk, historical experiences such as the Indian Residential School (IRS) system may also have continuing links with the risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The current investigation examined the intergenerational and […]

Secret path.

Chanie, misnamed Charlie by his teachers, was a young boy who died on October 22, 1966, walking the railroad tracks, trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School to return home. Chanie’s home was 400 miles away. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know where it was, nor how to find it, but, […]

It’s our time: Residential schools.

Learn about the tragic history of Canada’s residential schools, boarding schools for Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) children and youth, financed by the federal government but staffed and run by several Christian religious institutions.

Secret Path

Secret Path is a ten song digital download album by Gord Downie with a graphic novel by illustrator Jeff Lemire that tells the story of Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack, a twelve-year-old boy who died in flight from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School fifty years ago. Chanie, misnamed Charlie by his teachers, was a young boy […]

Born with a tooth.

Before internationally acclaimed author Joseph Boyden penned his bestselling novel Three Day Road and his Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning novel, Through Black Spruce, he published a powerful collection of thirteen stories about modern Aboriginal life that made readers and reviewers take notice. These stories of love, loss, rage and resilience match virtuosic style with clever wit […]

Indigenous writes: A guide to First Nations, Metis & Inuit issues in Canada.

Indigenous Writes, Chelsea Vowel initiates myriad conversations about the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada. An advocate for Indigenous worldviews, the author discusses the fundamental issues—the terminology of relationships; culture and identity; myth-busting; state violence; and land, learning, law and treaties—along with wider social beliefs about these issues. She answers the questions that many people […]

Lost innocence.

A fictional story (but based on documented real life experiences of survivors) of a brother and sister’s residential school experience in the 1930’s.

The intergenerational effects of Indian Residential Schools: Implications for the concept of historical trauma.

The current paper reviews research that has explored the intergenerational effects of the Indian Residential School (IRS) system in Canada, in which Aboriginal children were forced to live at schools where various forms of neglect and abuse were common. Intergenerational IRS trauma continues to undermine the well-being of todayÕs Aboriginal population, and having a familial […]

Appraisals of discriminatory events among adult offspring of Indian Residential School survivors: The influences of identity centrality and past perceptions of discrimination.

As part of a government policy of assimilation beginning in the mid-1800s, a large proportion of Aboriginal children in Canada were forcibly removed from their homes to attend Indian Residential Schools (IRSs), a practice which continued into the 1990s. This traumatic experience had lasting negative effects not only on those who attended but also on […]

No time to say goodbye: Children’s stories of Kuper Island Residential School.

A fictional account of five children sent to aboriginal boarding school, based on the recollections of a number of Tsartlip First Nations people.

Rhymes for young ghouls = Rimes pour revenants.


Fatty legs: a true story.

This book chronicles the unbreakable spirit of an Inuit girl bullied by a teacher while attending an Arctic residential school.

Goodbye Buffalo Bay.

Lawrence just has to make it through his final year of residential school and then he will never have to set foot in this horrible place again. But despite his best efforts to stay out of trouble, he finds himself in a few frightening predicaments. An escape attempt fails and a stolen gun misfires. Fortunately, […]

As long as the rivers flow.

Describes the summer of Larry Loyie with his family before he is forcibly taken to a government-sponsored residential school.

Speaking my truth: reflections on reconciliation & residential school.


Residential schools and Aboriginal parenting: voices of parents.

One of the authors participated in a series of talking circles in a First Nation community in northern Canada in which Aboriginal adults explored their experiences with the child welfare system. As the participants shared their concerns about this system, the theme shifted over time to the effect that residential schools had on their parenting. […]