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Residential Schools: "But how does that affect me?"

Target Audience:

Middle Years (grade 5-8)

Senior Years (grade 9-12)

Young Adults (18-34)

Adults (35+)


This workshop explores the history of Canadian Residential Schools, the devastation and residual effects, and how awareness can alter perceptions and bring about positive change.


Canadian residential schools have had a devastating impact on the legacy of Indigenous peoples. The purpose and intent of the residential schools, as set out by the federal government and churches involved, was to absorb Aboriginal people into the Canadian way of life by way of financial and educational conformity. The Canadian residential schools were developed as the means to do so, they were the primary tool used by the government in pursuance of their policy of Assimilation with respect to the Aboriginal peoples. The notion for assimilation came not long after the war of 1812 drew to a close, when the Aboriginal people were no longer viewed as essential to the war efforts, but as a financial burden on the developing Canadian Nation. 

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