Some 150,000 Indigenous children were removed and separated from their families and communities to attend residential schools. While most of the 139 Indian Residential Schools ceased to operate by the mid-1970s, the last federally-run school closed in the late 1990s. In May 2006, the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement was approved by all parties to the Agreement. The implementation of the Settlement Agreement began in September 2007 with the aim of bringing a fair and lasting resolution to the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools.
The Canadian government developed a policy called "aggressive assimilation" to be taught at church-run, government-funded industrial schools, later called residential schools. The government felt children were easier to mold than adults, and the concept of a boarding school was the best way to prepare them for life in mainstream society.
Residential schools were federally run, under the Department of Indian Affairs. Attendance was mandatory for children in the many communities that didn't have day schools. Agents were employed by the government to ensure all native children attended school.
The report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples denounces the tragic legacy left to the survivors of the Indian Residential Schools.
The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement consists of the following five components:
- The Common Experience Payment (CEP) – component completed;
- The Independent Assessment Process (IAP) – component completed;
- The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada;
- Commemoration activities – component completed;
- Health Support Program – Indian Residential Schools Resolution.
For further information about the program please drop by the Health Centre or contact
Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Worker