The Indian residential school was founded on the ill-conceived belief of the Canadian Federal Government that First Nations needed to become assimilated into European customs and Christianity. The government passed an amendment to the Indian Act in 1884 that made schooling compulsory for indigenous children under the age of 16. The horrific trauma and suffering experienced by students at these residential schools is only now coming to light through the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Established on June 1, 2008, the goals of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission include documenting and promoting the extent and impact of residential school experiences. Their final national event took place in Edmonton from March 27-30. This episode of the CJSR Edition contains excerpts from this event.
Please note: there is graphic, sensitive and disturbing content in this piece. If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, please call the Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.