Isolation and Assimilation
- Health, Death and Disease
- Recovery, Reparations, and Reconciliation
For a century, the Christian churches of Canada, with financial support from the government, forcibly removed indigenous children from their homes and families and isolated them in “residential schools” far from their communities.
Study period at Roman Catholic Indian Residential School, Fort Resolution, NWT
Canadian Indian Residential School gravesites
Throughout its history, between 3,200 and 6,000 students died while attending the Canadian Indian residential school system, mostly from tuberculosis. The exact number remains unknown due to incomplete records. Comparatively, few cemeteries associated with residential schools are explicitly referenced in surviving documents; however, the age and duration of the schools suggest that most had a cemetery associated with them. Most cemeteries were unregistered, and as such, the locations of many burial sites of residential school children have been lost. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has called for "the ongoing identification, documentation, maintenance, commemoration, and protection of residential school cemeteries or other sites at which residential school children were buried."