Content warning: this web page contains information about residential schools in Canada and may be distressing to some readers.
Residential Schools in Canada
On May 27, 2021, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation confirmed it found the remains of 215 children buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. On June 24, 2021, Cowessess First Nation announced a preliminary finding of 751 unmarked graves at a cemetery near the former Marieval Indian Residential School. On June 30, 2021, the community of ʔaq̓am, one of four bands in the Ktunaxa Nation and located near the city of Cranbrook, B.C., announced a preliminary finding of 182 burial sites adjacent to the former St. Eugene’s Mission School. On July 12, 2021, the Penelakut Tribe confirmed more than 160 unmarked, undocumented graves at the site of the former Kuper Island Indian Residential School on their territory near Vancouver Island. On August 10, 2021, Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations announced an investigation at the former St. Paul’s Indian Residential School site to find answers about the children who attended the school but never made it home. On January 25, 2022, 93 potential burial sites were identified at the former St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School near Williams Lake.
Below are a number of crisis resources for residential school survivors, as well as resources for settlers who want to learn more about the ongoing impacts of the Indian Residential School system. For more information and resources visit our “Reconciliation” page and our “Indigenous Peoples in Canada” page.
on the web
These recommended websites are free and easily accessible! All you need is an internet connection.
The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of his or her Residential school experience.
The IRSSS counselling team supports emotional, mental, and spiritual development, along with healing and recovery, through culturally-based values and guiding principles for Survivors, families and communities.
From an Indigenous perspective, this free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.
The KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a First Nations and Indigenous specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free from anywhere in British Columbia.
- Adult/Elder Line: 250-723-4050
- Child/Youth Line: 250-723-2040
- BC Wide Toll Free:1-800-KUU-US17 (1-800-588-8717)
- Métis Crisis Line: 1-833-MétisBC (1-833-638-4722)
The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) is a national, Indigenous-led, charitable organization that has been working to promote healing and Reconciliation in Canada for more than 19 years. The LHF’s goal is to educate and raise awareness about the history and existing intergenerational impacts of the Residential School System and subsequent Sixties Scoop on Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) Survivors, their descendants, and their communities to promote healing and Reconciliation.
"Non-Indigenous people — here’s what you can do, right now: 7 ways to support Indigenous people grieving in wake of news about 215 children."
by Anna McKenzie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter and Jacqueline Ronson
IndigiNews, June 2 2021.
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in Williams Lake in the spring of 2013. Orange Shirt Day is also an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools and community agencies to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.
CBC researched the progress of each Call to Action, by reaching out to relevant governments, faith groups, professional and community organisations for comment. They also cross-referenced federal funding announcements with actual and past financial expenditures.
The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) announced it has embarked on an Indigenous-led initiative, on behalf of its people and in partnership with its relatives, the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, to find answers about the children who attended the former St. Paul’s Indian Residential School but never made it home.
A short video from award-winning Cree and Lakota author and educator Monique Gray Smith: "I share tips on both talking to kids about Residential Schools, but also how to prepare yourself as the adult to have these conversations. The video is for parents, grandparents, educators...anyone really with children in their lives. Also included are a number of author tips of books to read, podcasts, etc to deepen and continue your learning."
Documents the history of the United Church’s Indian Residential Schools in Canada, with pictures. This project was initiated by the Church’s Steering Committee on Residential Schools, comprised of Survivors from different residential schools across Canada and of United Church leaders and staff. It is intended as a form of repatriation to First Nations communities and recognition that the United Church has responsibility to engage in truth-telling about the Church’s role in the residential school system and in colonialism in general.
The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre (IRSHDC) at UBC addresses the colonial legacy of residential schools and other policies imposed by the Canadian government on Indigenous Peoples, and ensures that this history is acknowledged, examined and understood within the UBC community.
West Vancouver Schools has the privilege and honour of working directly with local Indigenous Elders, Nation Council members, cultural advisors, and educators to provide authentic, meaningful learning opportunities for both students and staff. This page contains videos of legends and ceremonies you can watch as a family, and some for adults to help understand what Indigenous Education and Reconciliation looks like in our community’s classrooms.