Teaching the History and Legacies of Canada’s Residential Schools

January 27, 2022 to March 9, 2022
Teaching the Residential Schools

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Course Type:
Online Course
Event Fee:
150.00 CAD

Teaching the History and Legacies of Canada’s Residential Schools

In this online course, we will explore the history of Canada’s Residential Schools through primary source texts and survivors’ personal testimonies to better understand the devastating history and long-lasting impact on former students, their families, and entire Indigenous communities.  We will also look at their historical roots and the legacies that followed while examining the apologies given by government and churches, the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the charge of genocide.  We will use all these elements to help students connect this history to their own lives and the choices they make.

Please fill out the Educator Application at the bottom of this page to apply for the course.

In this online course you will:

  • Receive historical background materials, classroom-ready videos and participatory teaching strategies to engage students in learning about the Indian Residential Schools
  • Use teaching strategies to safely navigate student discussion when exploring difficult history
  • Discover new teaching strategies that help students interrogate text, think critically, and discuss controversial issues respectfully
  • Engage with survivor testimony and use sensitive and thought-provoking teaching strategies to bring this history into the classroom
  • Analyze the legacy of the Residential School System, the role of apology, and methods of meaningful reconciliation
  • Explore ways to engage students in meaningful reconciliation in response to the TRC’s Calls to Action
  • Receive a free copy of Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools.

After this online course you will: Become part of the Facing History educator network, with access to a rich slate of educator resources, including unit and lesson plans, study guides, and multimedia.


Who should take this course: 8th - 12th grade Canadian History, Humanities, and English Language Arts teachers and curriculum specialists. Please note due to our funding sources, acceptance priority into this course will be given to Canadian classroom educators.

Duration: 6 weeks. There is a new session each week. The first week's session is designed to welcome you to the course, introduce you to Facing History and Ourselves, your course facilitators, and Elder Shirley John, and connect you with other educators in the course. Weeks two through six are designed so that you will engage with course-related readings, videos, and other resources and leave with concrete strategies and lesson plan ideas to implement in your classroom. Sessions begin on Thursday and end on the following Wednesday.

Time Commitment: Approximately 1 hour for week 1. Approximately 4.5 hours per week for weeks 2 through 6.

Format: 3 hours of weekly self-paced, asynchronous online work via Canvas and weekly facilitated, synchronous Zoom online classes. Details for joining the Canvas and the Zoom sessions will be shared by email prior to the event.

  • Opening and Welcome (Wednesday, 2 February, 7:30-8:45 pm EST)
  • The Indian Act (Wednesday, 16 February, 7:30-8:45 pm EST)
  • Survivor Testimony (Wednesday, 2 March, 7:30-8:45 pm EST)
  • Current Issues and Closing Call (Wednesday, 9 March, 7:30-8:45 pm EST)
  • Two optional community calls (9 and 23 February, 7:30-8:30 pm EST)

(Live sessions will not be recorded.)

If you require ASL-English Interpretation, please email [email protected] no later than 3rd January.

Certificate of Completion: Awarded upon successful completion of the course, for 20 professional development hours.

About the Facilitators and Guests:

Lorrie Gallant (Facilitator) is a writer, illustrator, storyteller, visual artist, educator, and Expressive Arts Practitioner, born and raised on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is from the Cayuga Nation and of the Turtle Clan. Lorrie worked as the Education Program Coordinator at the Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford for 10 years and takes an active approach to revealing the rich culture of the Haudenosaunee, the history and current issues including the residential school through presentations and workshops to all ages and diversities. Lorrie is the recipient of the 2015 Ontario Arts Foundation Artist Educator Award.

Jen Williams (Facilitator) has lived most of her life in Alberta, currently residing in Treaty 7 territory. Jen was raised in a very conservative Christian home; as she went to university and continued to learn about the world around her, she realized her privileges and developed a passion for social justice. Because she was unable to have children of her own she is able to focus her energy on her high school Social Studies students. Jen is happiest reading a book about geopolitical economics while laying in a hammock in her backyard or travelling to a faraway place with her husband. Jen began using the Facing History and Ourselves resources about 5 years ago when she was developing a new social justice course for her school and is so excited to now be playing a facilitation role.

Elder Shirley John "Strong White Buffalo Woman" member of the Loon Clan /Grizzly Bear Clan of the Chippewas of Saugeen along the beautiful shores of Lake Huron. Grandma Shirley is a fluent speaker of the Anishinaabe language, she speaks through her interactive teachings sharing her passion of the Love of Creation and her Love for the Water to numerous organizations and conferences throughout Turtle Island. Over the years she has been a visiting Elder with Georgian College sharing her personal guidance and traditional teachings and a long-time friend to the friendship movement. Grandma Shirley has walked with her lifelong partner for 42 years who shares the joy of the Anishinabe way of life.

Online via Zoom
January 27, 2022 - March 9, 2022

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