Search for "residential schools"

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Resistance and Residential Schools

Residential schools were government-sponsored religious schools that many Indigenous children were forced to attend. They were established to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture. Indigenous parents and children did not simply accept the residential-school system. Indigenous peoples fought against – and engaged with – the state, schools and other key players in the system. For the duration of the residential-school era, parents acted in the best interests of their children and communities. The children responded in ways that would allow them to survive.

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Métis Experiences at Residential School

Although the first residential schools in Canada were established with the intention of assimilating First Nations children into Euro-Canadian culture, Métis and Inuit children were also institutionalized in such facilities. Métis children experienced similar day-to-day conditions to those of other students in residential schools, but they were often considered “outsiders” by their peers and administrators. This perception affected their experiences within these institutions in particular ways.


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Intergenerational Trauma and Residential Schools

Historical trauma occurs when trauma caused by historical oppression is passed down through generations. For more than 100 years, the Canadian government supported residential school programs that isolated Indigenous children from their families and communities (see Residential Schools in Canada). Under the guise of educating and preparing Indigenous children for their participation in Canadian society, the federal government and other administrators of the residential school system committed what has since been described as an act of cultural genocide. As generations of students left these institutions, they returned to their home communities without the knowledge, skills or tools to cope in either world. The impacts of their institutionalization in residential school continue to be felt by subsequent generations. This is called intergenerational trauma.

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Education of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Before contact with Europeans, Indigenous peoples educated their youth through traditional means — demonstration, group socialization, participation in cultural and spiritual rituals, skill development and oral teachings. The introduction of European classroom-style education as part of a larger goal of assimilation disrupted traditional methods and resulted in cultural trauma and dislocation. Reformers of Indigenous education policies are attempting to reintegrate traditional teachings and provide more cultural and language-based support to enhance and improve the outcomes of Indigenous children in the education system.

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Algoma University College

Algoma University College, Sault Ste Marie, Ont, was established in 1967 as an affiliate of Laurentian University. The campus is constructed around a fine old building that originally housed the Shingwauk Indian Residential School.

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Lillian Elias

Lillian Elias (whose Inuvialuktun name is Panigavluk) is a teacher, language activist and a residential school Survivor (born 1943 in the Mackenzie Delta, NT). Influenced by her time at residential school, where administrators attempted to forcefully strip her of her language and culture, Elias has spent much of her life promoting and preserving her first language, Inuvialuktun (see Inuvialuit).

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Historical Sources

Historians use written, oral and visual sources to develop and support their interpretations of historical events. The historical discipline divides source materials into two categories: primary sources and secondary sources. Both categories are flexible and depend on the subject and era a historian is investigating. 

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Secondary Education

Originally established as schools offering a narrow, classical curriculum to the sons of gentlemen, SECONDARY SCHOOLS (also known as high schools) became coeducational, offering a widened variety of programs and courses to all children who had completed the elementary school program.

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Singing Schools

Singing schools. A New-World echo of an English movement to renovate psalm-singing. The schools appeared first in New England in the early 18th century.

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New Brunswick Schools Question

In May 1871, the government of New Brunswick, under George Luther Hatheway, passed the Common Schools Act. This statute provided for free standardized education throughout the province, the establishment of new school districts, the construction of schools, and stricter requirements regarding teaching certificates. This law also made all schools non-denominational, so that the teaching of the Roman Catholic catechism was prohibited.

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Normal Schools

Normal Schools were first established by provincial departments of education in mid-19th-century British N America as institutions to train teachers for the rapidly expanding tax-supported public education systems of the day.

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Bible Schools

Bible colleges, institutes and seminaries are mainly sponsored by the Evangelical Protestant churches in Canada, although there are several Roman Catholic institutions in Canada. One of the first lay colleges in North America was established by T. Dewitt Talmage in 1872, in a church in Brooklyn, New York.

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Sunday Schools

Raikes's innovation, quickly copied in Britain, was brought to Canada mainly by the PRESBYTERIAN and CONGREGATIONAL churches.

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Singing Schools

The 18th-century US institution of local singing classes for sacred music had its counterpart in the Maritimes and in some parts of both Lower and Upper Canada between the 1770s and Confederation.

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Charter Schools

A charter school is a public school that functions semiautonomously. Its charter is a document that declares the school's special purpose and rules of operation. Since a charter school is publicly funded, it is not permitted to select its students or charge tuition fees.

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Manitoba Schools Question

The struggle over the rights of francophones in Manitoba to receive an education in their mother tongue and their religion is regarded as one of the most important “school crises” in Canadian history, with major short-term and long-term consequences.

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Public School

Public school refers to provincially controlled, tax-supported schools which are normally available to school-age children who live within a school district.

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Queen's University

Queen's is a mid-sized university with several faculties, colleges and professional schools, as well as the Bader International Study Centre located in Herstmonceux, East Sussex, United Kingdom.