Residential Schools: SFU Library resources

"The eagle flies the highest in the sky, and in a Coast Salish legend people would seek guidance from the eagle to gain knowledge of faraway places. This representational eagle wing relief was created to bring the knowledge to students as they seek guidance in their studies." By Marissa Nahanee - Maykw Cha7em Squamish & Nisga’a Nations, Eagle Clan.

SFU Library has a wide variety of resources that support knowledge sharing, teaching, and research about the history of residential schools, their impact on communities, and their legacy today.

Some links on this page contain subject matter that may be disturbing to some visitors and survivors of the residential school system. Please make use of Health Canada's 24-Hour National Survivors Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419 for support.

Print books, electronic books, government documents, maps, etc.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada reports

Search the SFU Library Catalogue to find materials on residential schools and reconciliation.

Subject headings

Suggested subject headings for finding resources on residential schools in Canada:

A word about subject headings:
SFU Library is aware of and sensitive to the fact that many standardised subject headings are outdated and some of the terminology does not reflect, and even counters, Indigenous perspectives. We are actively working to change that, and have started with incorporating a new subject heading - "Indigenous Peoples".
For more information on terminology, or to share concerns or comments, please contact Indigenous Initiatives Librarian Jenna Walsh.

Selected print and electronic resources

Behind Closed Doors: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School
[Secwepemc Cultural Education Society]

Indian Residential Schools: The Nuu-chah-nulth Experience
[Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council]

Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir
by Theodore Fontaine

Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School
by Celia Haig-Brown

Magic Weapons: Aboriginal Writers Remaking Community after Residential School
by Sam McKegney

Shingwauk's Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools
by J.R. Miller

Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada
by Paulette Regan

Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story
by David Alexander Robinson & Scott B. Henderson

Moving beyond: Understanding the Impacts of Residential School
by Brent Stonefish

Resources for school teachers

SFU Library Curriculum Collection resources
(For use in Kindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms)

Indian Residential Schools & Reconciliation - Teacher resource guides for Grade 5, Grade 10, Grade 11/12
From the First Nations Education Steering Committee

Film resources

We were children film cover

Featured at the SFU Day for Reconciliation: We Were Children from the National Film Board of Canada [streaming video or borrow the DVD copy]

View the video of SFU Day for Reconciliation's keynote speaker Karen Joseph from Reconciliation Canada, followed by an intergenerational panel sharing personal experiences of the residential school system and its legacy.

To find streaming videos, DVDs, and videos, search by keyword or subject heading (see examples) using the Library Catalogue.

Selected films:

Project Eagle Feather: Rough Cut
Written, directed, and produced by Tammy Lynne Elder; edited by Donald Morin

Muffins for Granny
[Feather Productions] a documentary by Nadia McLaren

Hidden Legacies (DVD)
by Lisa Jackson

Residential Schools
by the Missanabie Cree; filmmaker, Richard Hersley

Residential Schools: Moving Beyond Survival
[Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, CBC Newsworld, Vision TV]

A Century of Genocide
by Rosemary Gibbons and Dax Thomas
Also on the web site Vimeo

Rhymes for Young Ghouls
Written and directed by Jeff Barnaby

The Day of the Apology
[Indian and Northern Affairs Canada]

Residential Schools: Truth and Reconciliation in Canada - Educator's Package

An Overview of Residential Schools in Canada - Educator's Package

Stolen Children: Truth and Reconciliation
[Canadian Broadcast Corporation]

National Film Board of Canada's films about residential schools 

For more information about the use of SFU Library resources for educational purposes, please see Copyright for Instructors at SFU.

Web sites

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Website contains videos, reports, and more related to the residential schools and the commission 

Where are the Children: Healing the Legacy of Residential Schools
Interactive website featuring survivors' stories, maps, instructional resources, and more

They Came For the Children: Historical document about Indian Residential Schools
[released by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada]

Aboriginal Healing Foundation - Residential School Resources

Residential School Locations

Native residential schools in Canada, a selective bibliography [from Library and Archives Canada]
Listing of materials pertaining to residential schools available at the National Library of Canada, compiled by Amy Fisher and Deborah Lee