Photo Caption: Cree students at their desks with their teacher in a classroom, All Saints Indian Residential School, Lac La Ronge, Saskatchewan, March 1945 (Credit: Bud Glunz / National Film Board of Canada. Photothèque / PA-134110).
Yesterday we released our new Canadian resource, Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools. This new resource brings educators primary sources and first-person accounts about a painful period in Canadian history, when about 150,000 Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their families and stripped of their language, culture, and traditions.
Stolen Lives arrives as Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, after hearing thousands of survivor testimonies, offers a 94-recommendation “Action Plan.” Its June 2015 call said reconciliation—especially through education—is urgent.
I begin each year of my teaching with one hope: to inspire my students with history. I want to help our students become the keepers of history in our community. I want them to not only learn the history, but to live it and work in it. Educators – and schools, communities, and parents –do many things to help our students become active learners of history. Among the things I’m trying this year is building a mini-museum inside my Grade 11 Genocide classroom at Waterdown District High School in Hamilton, Ontario.