Tag Archives: residential schools

4.5: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada – Map Room

Website: http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1290453474688/1290453673970#h4

This website section is part of a much larger Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada website. This post is about the “Map Room” section specifically. This site includes a plethora of maps on Canadian First Nation communities and topics. Map topics range from census information, information about K-12 schools on reservations, and the distribution of residential school survivor settlements by province. Two interactive maps that I found particularly interesting were:

First Nation Profiles Interactive Map: Lists First Nations in Canada. By clicking on First Nation icon on the map, you can view demographic information about the First Nation. Furthermore, many also include links to community run websites.

Interactive Map on Specific Claim Settlements: Successful land claims are represented as orange dots on the map. Clicking on the dots reveals the name of the claim, the settlement date,  the dollar amount of the settlement, and the province. This is useful for seeing where claims have been made and for what reasons.

These maps are excellent for use in a Canadian History or a Global Issues classroom.

Project of Heart


This link is for a website called Project of Heart, which “is an inquiry based, hands-on, collaborative, inter-generational, artistic journey of seeking truth about the history of Aboriginal people in Canada. Its purpose is to:

  • Examine the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools in Canada and to seek the truth about that history, leading to the acknowledgement of the extent of loss to former students, their families and communities
  • Commemorate the lives of the thousands of Indigenous children who died as a result of the residential school experience.
  • Call Canadians to action, through social justice endeavors, to change our present and future history collectively”

It presents some beautiful projects and artwork done by students out of respect for Aboriginal peoples and the atrocities they suffered in residential schools.

Module 3, post 2

Edmonton Public School Board – FNMI Education


Having completed my B Ed at the University of Alberta, I was quite aware that the Edmonton Pubic School Board (EPSB) had a large program in place to reach the Aboriginal student, family and community as well as the educators of Aboriginal students.  The resources within this website are plentiful.  Documents for First Nations, Metis and Inuit families to maneuver the educational system, documents to guide young adults in future career pathways, Cree language resources (as many schools K-12 provide Cree as an option for students), family resources for health and well-being.  This all-encompassing website replicates the values of the First Nations people as it does not solely deal with education, rather the development of the whole person (and those who support the student).  This website is not only useful for those teachers who have First Nations, Metis or Inuit students but it provides an example of how educational boards are reaching out to meet the needs of all learners.  From an Aboriginal perspective, I feel this could be seen as a form of media outreach to showcase the efforts of the school board to connect with the Indigenous communities.

To access this website, go to: https://sites.google.com/a/epsb.ca/fnmi-education/home

Ronaye Kooperberg (Module 3 – Post 4)

. . . of survivors Module 2.3

So this link is to another book (Hey I am a librarian) and the write up about this book calls it a, “must have for every school library” (see the last paragraph of the summary).

The title of the book is actually “Residential Schools: With Words and Images of Survivors.” The “of survivors” part struck me, because it is only those ones who are left to tell the tale . . . and if it is not told, then it becomes something we miss out on learning from.

From the goodreads webpage http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23841530-residential-schools  09 04 15

From the goodreads webpage http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23841530-residential-schools 09 04 15

Project of Heart Module 2.2

Recently released, the link is to an 40 page e-book which has resources/stories about the history of residential schools in British Columbia. There are videos, primary documents, and classroom activities. For those of you who like hardcopies, there is an internal email link to obtain your own recyclable paper copy. 🙂

photo taken from website http://www.bctf.ca/HiddenHistory/eBook.pdf 09 04 15

photo taken from website http://www.bctf.ca/HiddenHistory/eBook.pdf 09 04 15

National Aboriginal Day


June 21 is National Aboriginal Day in Canada.  This website has links to various learning resources about the aboriginal culture, as well as the aboriginal history in Canada.  There is also a section about Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which was a topic covered in Module 1 readings.

Aboriginal Healing Foundation

This link leads to a collection of publications put online by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation as part of their Research Series.

I found this a useful place to start as I was interested in  inter-generational healing and community. There were some very interesting articles on here.  One document in particular was very useful for me and that was, “Reclaiming Connections: Understanding Residential School Trauma Among Aboriginal People.” This document chronicles the Aboriginal experience in Canada from pre- and post-contact history and the residential school experiences of Inuit, Métis, and First Nations. Then it discusses the trauma that individuals and communities are coping with. A really wonderful part of this document are the suggestions for healing, including Aboriginal Healing Models and culture-specific healing strategies such as “being out on the land” for Inuit or gathering medicines like sweet-grass for Métis (p.75).

Other interesting research and information on healing can be found here:


Module 4: Post #4- Positive Action towards Self- Representation

I had the wonderful opportunity when I was in Regina last week to meet with Phyllis Kretschmer who is my Mother’s good friend.  She is Saulteaux and Cree and a strong activist for Aboriginal issues. She told me stories about her terrible experiences as a student at Residential school. It is very difficult to imagine self-representation or self-determination in a setting where students were strapped for requesting an eraser from a classmate.  Where their braids were cut off without ceremony and where the majority of their week was spent either doing manual labour or absorbing the tenets of the Church in catechism classes, and where the idea of stockings without holes was a fond hope.

Phyllis was able to move forward from these experiences, based on strong family support and being able to find confidence in herself after years of being told by the teachers at the residential schools that she was stupid.

Now at the age of 79, she remains actively involved in educating both Aboriginals and Non Aboriginals about the history of First Nations communities.

She is involved in the Idle No More Movement started a couple of years ago (see articles below) and is a member of the Intercultural Grandmother’s Group organized through the University of Regina. This is where my Mother met her, often partnering with her when they visit Elementary and High Schools to share First Nations knowledge. Students then also see that First Nations issues are cared about by the Mainstream community as well.

Information about Idle No More and Intercultural Grandmother’s Uniting

Morier, Jan. Intercultural Grandmothers Uniting. Community Connection, North Central Community Newspaper. February 2010, page 5. Retrieved from http://www.nccaregina.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/2010_NCCA_News_February.pdf

McDonald, Alyssa. Your Reaction: Queen City Residents Participate in Idle No More. January 11, 2013. Retrieved from:  http://metronews.ca/news/regina/506245/your-reaction-queen-city-residents-participate-in-idle-no-more/

Sinclair, Niigaan. Idle No More: Where is the movement 2 years later. CBC News. December 7th, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/aboriginal/idle-no-more-where-is-the-movement-2-years-later-1.2862675


Reconciliation, Resistance, and Residential Schools: digital stories for healing and awareness

This week’s post continues my interest in digital storytelling. I was interested in how Indigenous people in Canada are using digital storytelling as a way to share stories of their experiences in the residential school system.

1. Resistance to Residential Schools: Digital Stories

Center for Youth and Society – University of Victoria


These stories are part of a “Resistance Narratives” project funded by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The goal of this project is to document resistance to the residential school system. For example, one digital story told of a woman who managed to defy assimilation and retained her language and then taught it to a few people in her community. This project is also meant to increase awareness and promote intergenerational healing.

Of particular interest for me personally was the digital story, “Cultural Revitalization of Sts’ailes Community School,” by Alexandra Kant because it compared and contrasted the experiences of residential schools with the work being done to reclaim the culture and language and heal the community in an educational setting.

Of particular interest for me personally was the digital story, “Cultural Revitalization of Sts’ailes Community School,” by Alexandra Kant because it compared and contrasted the experiences of residential schools with the work being done to reclaim the culture and language and heal the community in an educational setting.

  1. kiskinohamâtôtâpânâsk: Intergenerational Effects on Professional First Nations Women Whose Mothers are Residential School Survivors

Prairie Women’s Health


A collection of 6 powerful digital stories exploring the relationship between mothers and daughters. The videos illustrate the impact that residential schools had on generations of families, the project title is “kiskinohamâtôtâpânâsk: Intergenerational Effects on Professional First Nations Women Whose Mothers are Residential School Survivors (Source: Oral History Centre).” One of the videos, “My Journey to Motherhood,” Lorena Fontaine, was interesting because Fontaine shares that her decision to have a home birth on her mother’s ancestral lands meant that her daughter was the first child born there in 50 years. It is actually against the law to give birth at home in her province, so she had to pretend that she was going to give birth in the hospital and eventually arrange to have two midwives present. Another video, “Mary-Lou and Me” by Lisa Forbes describes her mother’s assimilation to the dominant culture. But it was the last sentence or so of the video that impacted me the most and really demonstrated the damaging effect that assimilation and loss of culture can have on people.

  1. ininiwag dibaajimowag*:First Nations Men and the Inter-generational Experiences of Residential Schools

Oral History Centre


The Oral History Centre website has published three of seven Digital stories produced by the male children of residential school survivors. This is part two of the project that I linked to above. So again, these videos explore the impact that residential schools had on generations of families. But one man said in his video, “the cycle stops with my grandchildren.” I found that the three selected videos offer hope for healing and a positive message in spite of the trauma and abuse that was experienced.

There is also a link at the bottom of the home page if you wish to view the four videos that were not selected to be published on their website. Or follow this link:


4. Trickster Art -Digital Storytelling of Chris Bose – written by Jennifer Dales


This is an article about the artist Chris Bose. I will also link to his blog. I’m glad I found this article explaining his work because as much as I liked his blog and found some of his work to be powerful, I needed this explanation. Bose states that residential schools “(are) our hidden holocaust. The residential school is always going to be in my art and in what I do until I figure out a way to destroy it.” This is certainly a powerful statement.

5. Urban Coyote TeeVee – Blog of artist Chris Bose


This is a collection of some of the artist’s work. Here you can find Jesus Coyote which is mentioned in the link above. He is participating in a challenge to post a work of art a day for one year so there are many different kinds of artwork. One of the pieces I found most moving is a digital story called All Things to All People.