Residential Schools

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Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Vol. 1 Summary
Format: Paperback
, 2015
  • This is the Final Report of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its six-year investigation of the residential school system for Aboriginal youth and the legacy of these schools. This report, the summary volume, includes the history of residential schools, the legacy of that school system, and the full text of the Commission's 94 recommendations for action to address that legacy.

    This report lays bare a part of Canada's history that until recently was little-known to most non-Aboriginal Canadians. The Commission discusses the logic of the colonization of Canada's territories, and why and how policy and practice developed to end the existence of distinct societies of Aboriginal peoples.

    Using brief excerpts from the powerful testimony heard from Survivors, this report documents the residential school system which forced children into institutions where they were forbidden to speak their language, required to discard their clothing in favour of institutional wear, given inadequate food, housed in inferior and fire-prone buildings, required to work when they should have been studying, and subjected to emotional, psychological and often physical abuse. In this setting, cruel punishments were all too common, as was sexual abuse.

    More than 30,000 Survivors have been compensated financially by the Government of Canada for their experiences in residential schools, but the legacy of this experience is ongoing today. This report explains the links to high rates of Aboriginal children being taken from their families, abuse of drugs and alcohol, and high rates of suicide. The report documents the drastic decline in the presence of Aboriginal languages, even as Survivors and others work to maintain their distinctive cultures, traditions, and governance.

    The report offers 94 calls to action on the part of governments, churches, public institutions and non-Aboriginal Canadians as a path to meaningful reconciliation of Canada today with Aboriginal citizens. Even though the historical experience of residential schools constituted an act of cultural genocide by Canadian government authorities, the United Nation's declaration of the rights of aboriginal peoples and the specific recommendations of the Commission offer a path to move from apology for these events to true reconciliation that can be embraced by all Canadians.

$22.95

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Finding My Talk: How Fourteen Canadian Native Women Reclaimed Their Lives After Residential School
Author: Agnes Grant
Format: Paperback
, 2005
  • When residential schools opened in the 1830s, First Nations envisioned their own teachers, ministers, and interpreters. Instead, students were regularly forced to renounce their cultures and languages and some were subjected to degradations and abuses that left severe emotional scars for generations. In Finding My Talk, fourteen aboriginal women who attended residential schools, or were affected by them, reflect on their experiences. They describe their years in residential schools across Canada and how they overcame tremendous obstacles to become strong and independent members of aboriginal cultures and valuable members of Canadian society. Biographies include: Eleanor Brass, Journalist, Plains Cree, Saskatchewan, Rita Joe, Poet/Writer, Mi?kmaq, Nova Scotia, Alice French, Writer, Inuit, Northwest Territories Shirley Sterling, School Administrator/Storyteller, Nlakapmux, British Columbia, Doris Pratt, Education Administrator/Language Specialist, Dakota, Manitoba, Edith Dalla Costa, School Counsellor, Woodland Cree, Alberta, Sara Sabourin, Community Worker, Ojibway, Ontario. Dr. Agnes Grant worked with the Native Teacher Training programs at Brandon University, Manitoba, for thirty years. As an administrator and professor, she spent much of her time in remote communities. Dr. Grant is the author of No End of Grief: Indian Residential Schools in Canada and three other books. She lives in Winnipeg.

$19.95

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Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School
Format: Paperback
, 1988
  • One of the first books published to deal with the phenomenon of residential schools in Canada, Resistance and Renewal is a disturbing collection of Native perspectives on the Kamloops Indian Residential School(KIRS) in the British Columbia interior. Interviews with thirteen Natives, all former residents of KIRS, form the nucleus of the book, a frank depiction of school life, and a telling account of the system's oppressive environment which sought to stifle Native culture.

    Winner of the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize (BC Book Prize) in 1989.

    Now in its 8th printing.

$19.95

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St. Peter's Indian Reserve
Format: Paperback
, 2015
  • “St. Peter’s Indian Reserve was part of the original Selkirk Treaty signed on July 18, 1817 and Treaty 1 signed on August 3, 1871.”

    Step back in time with this collection of newspaper articles covering St. Peter’s Indian reserve from 1859-1939. Compiled by Craig Charbonneau Fontaine, these articles offer many different glimpses of this once thriving and flourishing reserve north of present-day Selkirk, Manitoba. The compilation demonstrates St. Peter’s ability to adapt to changing cultural conditions, while maintaining a strong Anishanabe and Swampy Cree identity. It is hoped that this historical collection will contribute to future work on St. Peter’s

$19.95

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They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
Author: Bev Sellars
Traditional Territory: Xat'sull
Format: Paperback
, 2013
  • Like thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada, and elsewhere in the colonized world, Xatsu'll chief Bev Sellars spent part of her childhood as a student in a church-run residential school.

    These institutions endeavored to "civilize" Native children through Christian teachings; forced separation from family, language, and culture; and strict discipline. Perhaps the most symbolically potent strategy used to alienate residential school children was addressing them by assigned numbers only-not by the names with which they knew and understood themselves.

    In this frank and poignant memoir of her years at St. Joseph's Mission, Sellars breaks her silence about the residential school's lasting effects on her and her family-from substance abuse to suicide attempts-and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. 'Number One' comes at a time of recognition-by governments and society at large-that only through knowing the truth about these past injustices can we begin to redress them.

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Victims of Benevolence: The Dark Legacy of the Williams Lake Residential School
Format: Paperback
, 1995
  • An unsettling study of two tragic events at an Indian residential school in British Columbia which serve as a microcosm of the profound impact the residential school system had on Aboriginal communities in Canada throughout this century. The book's focal points are the death of a runaway boy and the suicide of another while they were students at the Williams Lake Indian Residential School during the early part of this century. Imbedded in these stories is the complex relationship between the Department of Indian Affairs, the Oblates, and the Aboriginal communities that in turn has influenced relations between government, church, and Aboriginals today.

$18.95

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