Warning: Some information detailed on our website may stir up or trigger unpleasant feelings or thoughts for members of the community. Please contact The Indian Residential School Survivors Society toll-free 1 (800) 721-0066 or 24hr Crisis Line 1 (866) 925-4419 if you require further emotional support or assistance.
Like many of you, we are deeply disturbed and unsettled by the discovery of 215 children’s bodies at the Kamloops Indian Residential School last week. Ground penetrating radar technology accessed by Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc First Nation revealed the true story.
Our hearts ache alongside our Indigenous friends and colleagues as the truth of genocide is revealed again, and we commit to continuing our work to seek education and justice. We stand with Indigenous Peoples as they grieve and express their anger at the lack of equity and justice for Indigenous children.
In total, an estimated 150,000 First Nation, Inuit, and Métis children attended residential schools. Many of these children did not return home.
Beginning around 1880, residential schools were created by the Canadian government and Christian churches, nominally as an attempt to educate Indigenous youth and also the more damaging objectives of indoctrinating them into Euro-Canadian and Christian ways of living and assimilating them into mainstream white Canadian society.
Locally, St. Paul’s Indian Residential School opened in 1898 on Keith Road just north of the Eslhá7an or Mission Reserve on the site of the present-day St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School which remained open until 1959. Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) children were also forced to go to Kamloops Indian Residential School.
The last residential school in Canada closed in 1996.
For more information and resources, visit the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society.
We rely on contributions, monthly or one-time gifts, to help MONOVA safeguard and expand our community’s archival and museum collections, build learning experiences and inspire future generations.
Donations are accepted through the Friends of the North Vancouver Museum & Archives Society, Registered Charity No. 89031 1772 RR0001.
We respectfully acknowledge that MONOVA: Museum and Archives of North Vancouver is located on the traditional lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, whose ancestors have lived here for countless generations. We are grateful for the opportunity to live, work and learn with them on unceded Coast Salish Territory.