Over more than 100 years, the Canadian government took 150,000 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children from their families and placed them in residential schools. In these schools, young people were assigned a number, forced to wear European-style clothes, forbidden to speak their native language, required to work, and often subjected to physical and psychological abuse. If they tried to leave the schools to return to their families, they were captured by the RCMP and forced back. Run by churches, the schools were paid for by the federal government. The last residential school closed in 1996.
It took decades for people to speak out in public about the devastating impact of residential schools. School Survivors eventually came together and launched court actions against the federal government and the churches. In 2008 the Canadian government apologized for the historic wrongs committed by the residential school system. The survivors’ lawsuits led to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history, and the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Commission spent six years gathering testimony and discovering the facts about residential schools.
This book includes the text of the government’s apology and summarizes the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action, which offer the basis for a new relationship between the Canadian government, Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people.
About the author
Melanie Florence est auteure canadienne de descendance crie et écossaise. Son premier livre, Jordin Tootoo: The Highs and Lows of the First Inuit to Play in the NHL , a été choisi comme livre d'honneur par l'American Indian Library Association. Ses œuvres de fiction sont le roman pour ados One Night ainsi que l'album illustré Missing Nimama, gagnant du Prix TD de la littérature jeunesse. Melanie habite à Toronto.
MELANIE FLORENCE is an award-winning writer of Cree and Scottish heritage based in Toronto, Ontario. She is the author of Missing Nimâmâ, which won the 2016 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the 2017 Forest of Reading Golden Oak Award and was a finalist for the 2017 First Nation Communities READ award. Her most recent picture book, Stolen Words, won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award and was a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. Her other books include Righting Canada’s Wrongs: Residential Schools and the teen novels Just Lucky, He Who Dreams, The Missing, One Night, and Rez Runaway. Visit her at https://www.melanieflorence.com/.
"A wonderful series [Righting Canada's Wrongs] of beautiful books."
Recommended by the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett for the #GiftingReconciliation Campaign
"This resource-rich book is sure to spark both class and individual exploration. An index, glossary, and timeline will help teens navigate the rich content in this book, while links to online video and audio clips and the 'For Further Reading' section will guide them beyond its pages. Teachers will also find lesson plans and other helpful tools in an accompanying series Resource Guide."
National Reading Campaign
"A great book...there's a lot there for us all."
CBC Metro Morning
"As one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action states, 'Make age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, Treaties, and Aboriginal peoples' historical and contemporary contributions to Canada a mandetory education requirement for kindergarten to Grade Twelve students.' (p. 7) this book certainly contributes to this action and should be added to every junior and senior high school and public library in Canada. Highly Recommended." Rated E - Excellent, enduring, everyone should see it!
"If I were purchasing materials for a high school library, I would buy at least 2 copies, and I would urge Social Studies and Aboriginal Studies classroom teachers to have at least one copy on their bookselves. Perhaps the strongest work to date in the Righting Canada's Wrongs series, Residential Schools underscores the importance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's work... Highly Recommended."
CM: Canadian Review of Materials