The Canadian population was hit hard last week with the news that the remains of 215 children were found in a mass grave at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia – some as young as three years old. The announcement led to reactions of shock and horror across Canada on the weekend, though what is not widely enough known is that more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were placed in residential schools between the 1870s and 1996. Indigenous leaders have said for decades that thousands of children died and were buried in unmarked graves while the schools were in operation, and for decades they have mourned.
It’s past overdue that the rest of us, settlers and visitors on this land of Turtle Island, pay our respect and educate ourselves. With the help of the Indigenous Corporates Training Blog, here are 6 books on residential schools that provide insight and perspective on Indigenous history post contact, issues, myths, facts and paths forward.
They Came for the Children: Canada, Aboriginal Peoples, and Residential Schools by The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2012
Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada by Paulette Regan, 2011
Truth and Indignation: Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools by Ronald Niezen, 2013
Reconciling Canada: Critical Perspectives on the Culture of Redress by Jennifer Henderson and Pauline Wakeham, 2013
Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors by Larry Loyie, Wayne K. Spear and Constance Brissenden
They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School by Bev Sellars, 2013
If you’re looking for books to educate young people, take a look at the list provided here by the ICTINC 10 Books about Indian Residential Schools – for young people