Resource List: Indigenous Residential Schools

Trigger Warning: Indigenous Residential Schools

In response to the public announcement about the 215 children buried at Kamloops Residential School, British Columbia this past week, the GOEMP Committee has organized the following list of resources for emerging museum professionals:

  1. Helplines and Support
  2. Readings and Resources
  3. News Sources
  4. Book List

1. Helplines and Support

  • Good2Talk: A 24-hour mental health support for Post-Secondary Students in Ontario. Call 1-866-925-5454
  • The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: Call 1-866-925-4419
  • Hope for Wellness Helpline: Provides 24/7 culturally grounded assessment, referrals, support in times of crisis, and suicide intervention. Service languages include Ojibway, Cree, Inuktut, English, and French. Call 1-855-242-3310
  • The National Residential School Crisis Line (National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation): Call 1-866-925-4419
  • The KUU-US Crisis Line Society (within British Columbia): Call 1-800-588-8717 (toll free First Nations and Indigenous-specific crisis line available 24/7)
  • NWAC Elder Support Line: Available Monday-Friday 9AM-11AM EST & 1PM-3PM EST, Canada-wide. Call 1-888-664-7808
  • Talk 4 Healing: Provides 24/7 culturally sensitive counselling, advice and support to Indigenous women. Service languages include Ojibway, Oji-Cree, Cree, English, and French. Call 1-855-554-4325
  • MMIWG Crisis Line: Provides 24/7 support to family, friends and community members who are being impacted by the loss of a missing or murdered Indigenous woman, girl or Two-spirit person. Service languages include English and French. Call 1-844-413-6649
  • Therapy Assist Online: Affordable and accessible therapy​

2. Readings and Resources

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and its 94 Calls to Action – museums and archives are specifically addressed in calls 67-70

Canada’s Residential Schools: Reconciliation. The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Volume 6

Statements from Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne CasimirFirst Nations Child & Family Caring Society

Orange Shirt Day resources page

Project of Heart: a guide for educators about residential schools

Anishinabek Nation Overview of Residential Schools

Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario First Nations, Métis & Inuit Education resources

“A Culture of Exploitation: “Reconciliation” and the Institutions of Canadian Art”: A Yellowhead Institute Special Report by Lindsay Nixon, August 2020

Native Land – mapping Indigenous lands in a way that changes, challenges, and improves the way people see the history of their countries and peoples

Indigenous-made films from the National Film Board of Canada on residential schools

Residential Schools 3-episode podcast by Historica Canada hosted by Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais

Assembly of First Nations Education Toolkit, Module 6: Residential Schools

Woodland Cultural Centre – currently running the Save the Evidence campaign, “to raise awareness and support for the restoration of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School, and to develop the building into an Interpreted Historic Site and Educational Resource”

Orange Shirt Day reading list – Hamilton Public Library

“Indigenous Canada”: 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta – Free via Coursera

Recordings from the second Indigenous Collections Symposium, Ontario Museum Association: Mashkawatgong-mamawewiziwin – strengthening our bonds, sharing our practices, March 2021

Ontario Museum Association resources: Indigenous Culture and Reconciliation

Indian Arts Research Center, School for Advanced Research (Santa Fe, New Mexico) – Developed over a three-year period of collaboration between Native and non-Native museum professionals, cultural leaders, and artists. The Guidelines are intended as a resource for museums and communities planning and carrying out collaborative work.

Strong Nations – Indigenous-owned bookstore and publisher

Good Minds – Indigenous-owned bookstore in Brantford, Ontario

3. News Sources

4. Book List

  • Indian Horse – Richard Wagamese
  • Orange Shirt Day – Phyllis Webstad
  • Shi-shi-etko and Shin-chi’s Canoe – Nicola Campbell
  • Seven Fallen Feathers – Tanya Talaga
  • Dear Canada, These Are My Words: The Residential School Diary of Violet Pesheens – Ruby Slipperjack
  • In Search of April Raintree – Beatrice Mosionier
  • The Train – Jodie Callaghan
  • My Name is Seepeetza – Shirley Sterling
  • Fatty Legs – Christy Jordan Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
  • I Am Not a Number – Jenny Kay Dupuis
  • When We Were Alone – David A. Robertson & Julie Flett
  • A Stranger at Home – Christy Jordan-Fenton, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, Liz Amini-Holmes 
  • The Break – Katherena Vermette
  • Porcupines and China Dolls – Robert Arthur Alexie
  • The Marrow Thieves – Cherie Dimaline
  • When I Was Eight – Christy Jordan Fenton
  • Not My Girl – Christy Jordan Fenton
  • Stolen Words – Melanie Florence
  • We Feel Good Out Here – Julie-Anne Andre & Mindy Willett
  • The Land is Our Storybook – Julie-Anne Andre & Mindy Willett
  • When We Play Our Drums, They Sing! / Lucy & Lola – Richard Van Camp & Monique Gray Smith 
  • Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story – David Robertson 
  • As Long as the Rivers Flow – Larry Loyie
  • One Story, One Song – Richard Wagamese
  • The Red Flies – Lisa Bird-Wilson
  • The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir – David Carpenter and Joseph Auguste Merasty
  • Speaking Our Truth – Monique Gray Smith 
  • They Called Me Number One – Bev Sellers
  • I Lost My Talk – Rita Joe
  • I’m Finding My Talk – Rebecca Thomas
  • 7 Generations: A Plains Cree Saga – David A. Robertson
  • Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story – David A. Robertson
  • Amik Loves School – Katherena Vermette
  • I Can Make This Promise – Christine Day 
  • Call Me Indian – Fred Sasakamoose
  • Up Ghost River – Edmund Metatawabin 
  • Broken Circle, the Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools – Theodore Fontaine 
  • Out of the Depths, 4th Edition: The Experiences of Mi’kmaw Children at the Indian Residential School at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia – Isabelle Knockwood 
  • Black Apple – Joan Crate 
  • Did You See Us?: Reunion, Remembrance, and Reclamation at an Urban Indian Residential School – Survivors of the Assiniboia Indian Residential School
  • Residential Schools: The Devastating Impact on Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Findings and Calls for Action – Melanie Florence
  • No Time to Say Goodbye: Children’s Stories of Kuper Island Residential School – Sylvia Olsen, Rita Morris & Ann Sam
  • Reflections From Them Days: A Residential School Memoir From Nunatsiavut – Nellie Winters
  • 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples A Reality – Bob Joseph

We encourage anyone who has additional resources that support and center Indigenous voices to share them in our Facebook Group (please note, it is a private group and you may need to request to join) or directly with the GOEMP Committee team so we can add them to this list. You can use our Contact page or write to us at Thank you.

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