Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada: Highlights from the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples — please read at least the highlights from this five-volume report, very informative. What are the foundations of a fair and honorable relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people of Canada? It includes the recommendations specific to residential schools.
Legacy of Hope Foundation
The Legacy of Hope Foundation (LHF) is a national Indigenous-led, charitable organization founded in 2000 with the goal of educating and raising awareness about the history and many legacies of the Residential School System. These include the direct and ongoing impacts on First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Survivors, their communities, and their descendants.
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
Read the TRC final report and the Calls to Action, which essentially provides Ottawa with a road map of how to mend the fractured relationship between the country and Indigenous Peoples.
Five Little Indians
by Michelle Good
The novel focuses on five survivors of the Canadian Indian residential school system, struggling with varying degrees of success to rebuild their lives in Vancouver, British Columbia after the end of their time in the residential schools.
Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn’t want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission.
With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward. Five Little Indians was CBC's number one best selling book in 2021.
Seven Fallen Feathers
by Tanya Talaga
In Seven Fallen Feathers, Ojibwe author and journalist Tanya Talaga reports on the deaths of seven Indigenous Canadian high school students who traveled to Thunder Bay, Ontario to attend boarding school in the city. The seven students, who died between 2000 and 2011, were from remote First Nations reserves. Five of them were found in the city’s rivers, and many had bruises and burns on their bodies that could indicate foul play. Yet the deaths received scant media coverage, and the Thunder Bay Police insisted that in each of the seven cases, “no foul play” was involved.
Talaga roots the 21st-century tragedies in Canada’s long history of colonialism and cultural genocide. French and English settlers colonized Canada from the 15th century onward. But in 1876, with the passage of the Indian Act, the Canadian government enforced laws meant to sequester Indigenous adults on their reservations while forcing Indigenous children 16 and under to attend one of the country’s 139 residential schools. The schools were created to assimilate Indigenous children into white Canadian culture—but the schools were hotbeds of violence, physical abuse, sexual assault, malnutrition, disease, and even forced medical experimentation. The 150,000 survivors of the residential school system were forever traumatized by their experiences in the schools—and, Talaga asserts, the generational trauma created up until the schools’ closures in the 1970s still affects Indigenous communities in the present day. Alcoholism, cycles of abuse, and the government’s punitive lack of funding for Indigenous communities has left hundreds of thousands of people traumatized and isolated.