Ways to engage and learn about the history of the residential schools in Canada.

June 4, 2021

Our thanks to Kathy Rieder Heppner(Fort Gary MB) for providing this list of ways to engage and learn about the history of the residential schools in Canada. We share these with Kathy’s permission.

1. Remember – your voice is your power. Don’t just post on social media, we need to reach out to government representatives. Email/write/call your MP, the Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Minister for Indigenous Services, and the Office of the Prime Minister. Their contact information is easily found online. Respectfully demand action on all the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s Calls to Action. Call on the government to stop fighting First Nations kids and residential school survivors in court and to stop blocking the creation of statistical reports on residential school abuse claims and the direct transfer of other records to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. We need these truths.

2. Familiarise yourself with the TRC Calls to Action 71-76, which specifically address Indian Residential Schools

3. Watch this 8 minute documentary on why so many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children died from preventable disease, abuse, and neglect:

4. Talk to your kids about Indian Residential Schools. A great resource is the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society’s “Spirit Bear” who has published 3 children’s books that address residential schools.

5. Check out these informative resources to learn more:

6. (added May 31) Donate to the Indian Residential School (IRS) Survivors Society (www.irsss.ca). They are a B.C. organization providing important services to IRS survivors.

7. Take a moment to remember these kids. Do what you need to do to honour them: pray, light a candle, cry, plant a flower in their memory, hug your own kids extra tight.

8. Check in on your Indigenous friends/family. Across the country, they are grieving.