Truth and Reconciliation & The Legacies of the Residential School System | Fresh Restaurants

Truth and Reconciliation & The Legacies of the Residential School System

First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Resources

Below is a list of resources to learn about Truth and Reconciliation and the legacies of the Residential School System, including the Sixties Scoop and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Education is the starting point from where to take action.


Starting Points

Residential School System

An Overview of the Indian Residential School System Booklet

Written by the Union of Ontario Indians based on research compiled by Karen Restoule, this booklet will provide general information on the purpose, establishment and history of the Indian Residential School system in Canada.

Videos: Legacy of Hope Foundation | Residential School Survivor Stories

A selection of Survivor stories Survivors share their personal and often painful accounts of their experiences of residential school and its legacy. It is by sharing these truths that we can all continue to work toward understanding and healing.

Residential Schools in Canada Education Guide | Historica Canada

This Education Guide aims to raise awareness of this chapter in Canada’s history and increase understanding of the important role education plays in the reconciliation process.

Residential Schools in Canada Interactive Map from the TRC

This interactive map, prepared by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, indicates the location of residential schools identified by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

Canada’s Residential Schools – Canadian Geographic x Google Earth

This educational resource combines moving Google Earth images with information to teach about the history and background, takes you inside a residential school, and outlines the lasting negative effects of acts of genocide.


Truth and Reconciliation

Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Frequently Asked Questions

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) mandate is to inform all
Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools (IRS). The Commission documented the truth of survivors, families, communities and anyone affected by the IRS experience.

Summary: Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The Final Report discusses what the Commission did and how it went about its work, as well as what it heard, read, and concluded about the schools and afterwards, based on all the evidence available to it.

94 Calls to Action

In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR)

The NCTR continues the work started by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). The Survivors’ statements, documents, and other materials collected through the TRC form the heart of the NCTR.

The Reconciliation: A Starting Point Mobile App

A reference tool for learning about First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples, including key historical events and examples of reconciliation initiatives. Users will learn why reconciliation matters and what public servants need to know and do to advance reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.


Suggestions for Action

What You Can Do as a Settler to Create Change: From an Indigenous Perspective

Prepared by Bryson Sili’pay. Settlers must take part in creating change. This includes education, conversations, amplification of Indigenous voices, and participation in meaningful action.

Ally Bill of Responsibilities

Developed by Dr. Lynn Gehl (Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe)- an author, advocate, artist, public speaker and expert on Indigenous issues.

Truth And Reconciliation: My Action Plan

Prepared By Sarah Robinson, Rainwatch Advising. Truth and reconciliation efforts can be overwhelming and it’s hard to know where to start. This document is the perfect starting point.

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

A universal framework of minimum standards and freedoms for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world.

Pledge of Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

Looking for a pledge to get you started on your commitment for reconciliation? Try this sample Pledge of Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, with eight simple commitments.

Back Pocket Reconciliation Action Plan

How will you make reconciliation part of your day-to-day life? This Reconciliation Action Plan is a starting point for individuals to think about how to make reconciliation part of their lives.



Kuper Island

An 8-part series that tells the stories of four students- three who survived and one who didn’t- who attended one of Canada’s most notorious residential schools – where unsolved deaths, abuse, and lies haunt the community and the survivors to this day. Hosted by Duncan McCue.

Unsettled: Journeys in Truth and Conciliation

Building upon the 94 calls to action of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, from the perspectives of Indigenous cohost Jessica Vandenberghe, settler co-host George Lee, and their Indigenous and settler guests.

Residential Schools | Historica Canada

A 3-part podcast series created by Historica Canada and hosted by Shaneen Robinson-Desjarlais, aiming to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools, and honour the stories of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Survivors, their families, and communities.



A Knock on the Door by Phil Fontaine, Aimée Craft

Published in collaboration with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, gathers material from the TRC reports to present the essential history and legacy of residential schools and inform the journey to reconciliation that Canadians are now embarked upon.

Call Me Indian by Fred Sasakamoose

Fred Sasakamoose, torn from his home at the age of seven, endured the horrors of residential school for a decade before becoming heralded as the first Indigenous player with Treaty status in the NHL. Sasakamoose’s groundbreaking memoir sheds piercing light on Canadian history and Indigenous politics

Namwayut – We Are All One: A Pathway To Reconciliation by Chief Robert Joseph

No matter how long or difficult the path ahead, we are all one. In this book, Chief Robert Joseph traces his journey from his childhood surviving residential school to his present-day leadership journey bringing individual hope, collective change, and global transformation.

Pathways of Reconciliation: Indigenous and Settler Approaches to Implementing the TRC’s Calls to Action by Aimée Craft & Paulette Regan

Recognizing that reconciliation is not only an ultimate goal, but a decolonizing process that embodies everyday acts of resistance, resurgence, and solidarity, coupled with renewed commitments to justice, dialogue, and relationship building, Pathways of Reconciliation helps readers find a way forward.

They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellers

Xatsu’ll chief Bev Sellars spent part of her childhood as a student in a church-run residential school. In this frank and poignant memoir of her years at St. Joseph’s Mission, Sellars breaks her silence about the residential school’s lasting effects on her and her family and eloquently articulates her own path to healing.



National Film Board (NFB) – Residential Schools

A selection of films by Indigenous filmmakers and allies about the tragic impact of the residential school system in Canada.

aptn lumi

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network Streaming service: Indigenous Stories Streaming Now

Against the Grain – The Legacy of the Indian Residential School System

This film explores the legacy of the Indian Residential School system by looking at its history, present conditions and hopes for the future. It focuses on the varying social and political challenges facing former students, their families and communities, and highlights various attempts to cope and overcome the impacts.

Honour to Senator Murray Sinclair

Alanis Obomsawin shares a powerful 2016 speech by Senator Murray Sinclair, interspersing it with testimonies from residential school survivors. The Ojibway senator is also the former chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which spent 6 years listening to more than 6,500 witnesses.

Indian Horse

An adaptation of Ojibway writer Richard Wagamese’s award-winning novel, the film follows Saul Indian Horse as he survives residential school and the racism of the 1970s. A talented hockey player, Saul must find his own path as he battles stereotypes and alcoholism.

Wawahte: Stories of Residential School Survivors

Based on the book of the same title by Robert P. Wells. It tells the story of Indian Residential Schools from the perspective of three of its survivors. They trusted Bob to tell their very personal stories so that all Canadians might find mutual healing and understanding.

We Were Children

In this feature film, the profound impact of the Canadian government’s residential school system is conveyed through the eyes of two children who were forced to face hardships beyond their years. We Were Children gives voice to a national tragedy and demonstrates the incredible resilience of the human spirit.


The Continuing Legacies of Residential Schools

The legacy of the residential school system did not end with the closure of schools- instead a new type of segregation and removal took place and is still taking place today. This is referred to as “the Indigenous child welfare era”. The epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MWIWG) also has deep roots in the residential school system.

Sixties Scoop mid 1950s-1985

Refers to the large-scale removal or “scooping” of Indigenous children from their homes, communities and families of birth, and their subsequent adoption into predominantly non-Indigenous, middle-class families across the United States and Canada.

How many First Nations kids are in care?

14,970 out of 28,665 foster children in private homes under the age of 15 are Indigenous. Results from the 2011 National Household Survey also show that 38% of Indigenous children in Canada live in poverty, compared to 7% for non-Indigenous children. APTN News, 2020.

Final Report | National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) 2018

The National Inquiry’s Final Report reveals that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

231 Calls for Justice

The report calls for transformative legal and social changes to resolve the crisis that has devastated Indigenous communities across the country

2SLGBTQQIA+ Sub-Working Group MMIWG2SLGBTQQIA+ National Action Plan Final Report

National Action Plan: Ending Violence Against Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ People (MMIWG) 2021

Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC)

Representing the political voice of Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people in Canada, inclusive of First Nations on and off reserve, status and non-status, disenfranchised, Métis and Inuit.

65 actions NWAC will take to address the Calls for Justice

After waiting for 2 years, NWAC has stepped away from the National plan, moving away from state dependence to independence and self-determination.



Intimate Integration: A History of the Sixties Scoop and the Colonization of Indigenous Kinship By Allyson Stevenson

Intimate Integration documents the rise and fall of North American transracial adoption projects, including the Adopt Indian and Métis Project and the Indian Adoption Project. Intimate Integration sheds light on the complex reasons behind persistent social inequalities in child welfare.

Ohpikiihaakan-ohpihmeh = Raised somewhere else : a 60s Scoop adoptee’s story of coming home By Colleen Cardinal

Delving into the personal and provocative narrative of Colleen Cardinal’s journey growing up in a non-Indigenous household as a 60s Scoop adoptee. It is a story of empowerment, reclamation and, ultimately, personal reconciliation. It is a form of Indigenous resistance through truth-telling

A Girl Called Echo. Vol. 1-4 By Katherena Vermette

A Girl Called Echo is a graphic novel series that explores the life of a Métis teenager through illustrated storytelling. Each book follows Echo Desjardins and her travels back through time, which illuminates important periods and events in Métis history in an engaging, visually stimulating way for teenage audiences.

These Are The Stories By Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith

A collection of personal essays comprising the life of a survivor of the Sixties Scoop. Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith reveals her experiences in the child welfare system and her journey towards healing in various stages of her life. These Are The Stories is an inspirational and courageous telling of a life story.



National Film Board (NFB) – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MWIW)

A selection of films by Indigenous filmmakers and allies about the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls (MWIWG) in Canada

Becoming Nakuset

Becoming Nakuset is an intimate film that shares the story of Nakuset, an Indigenous survivor of the 60s scoop who was adopted into an affluent Jewish family in Montreal. Nakuset guides us through the emotional journey of rediscovering her past and re-shaping her life by sharing personal archives and interviews.

Birth of a Family

Three sisters and a brother meet for the first time. Removed from their young Dene mother during the infamous 60s Scoop, they were separated as infants and adopted into families across North America. Betty Ann, Esther, Rosalie, and Ben were only 4 of the 20,000 Indigenous Canadian children taken from their families.

Everything Is Connected – A dialogue between MMIWG and Sixties Scoop

Everything is connected is a documentary project led jointly by the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan (SISS) and Iskwewuk-E-wichiwitochik. The project highlights how intergenerational trauma and the separation of Indigenous children from their families are connected to the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Highway of Tears

In Canada, over 600 Aboriginal women have been reported missing or been murdered since the 1960s. Viewers will discover what the effects of generational poverty, residential schools, systemic violence, and high unemployment rates have done to First Nations reserves and how they tie in with the missing and murdered women in the Highway of Tears cases.

Lost Moccasin

From the National Screen Institute’s IndigiDocs, Lost Moccasin is about a Sixties Scoop survivor, Bradford Bilodeau, who travels back home and embarks on a journey to speak with his last relative who has the knowledge of what happened during the time he and all of his siblings were taken from his home in the 60’s scoop

Stories Are in Our Bones

Janine Windolph takes her young sons fishing with their kokum (grandmother), a residential school survivor who retains a deep knowledge and memory of the land. The act of reconnecting with their homeland is a cultural and familial healing journey for the boys, and also a powerful form of resistance for the women.



Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS)

A provincial organisation with a 20-year history of providing services to Indian Residential School Survivors.

Woodland Cultural Centre | Save the Evidence Campaign

A campaign to raise awareness and support for the restoration of the former Mohawk Institute Residential School, and to develop the building into an Interpreted Historic Site and Educational Resource and the definitive destination for information about the history of Residential Schools in Canada, the experiences of Survivors of the schools, and the impact that the Residential School system has had on our communities.