Teaching the History and Legacies of Canada’s Residential Schools | Facing History & Ourselves
Cover of "Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools."
Professional Learning

Teaching the History and Legacies of Canada’s Residential Schools

In this facilitated online course, we will explore the history and legacies of Canada’s Residential Schools using primary source texts, survivors’ personal testimonies and live online learning classes that will equip educators to better understand the devastating history and the long-lasting impact of the Residential School system, and how to teach about it.

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About this event:

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Our multi-session professional learning series are designed for in-depth exploration of themes and topics that help educators strengthen their skills and competencies. Session information is included in the event details.

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This professional learning event will be led by Facing History staff. When you register, you will receive instructions for how to attend the event.

This event qualifies for Certificate of Completion.

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Democracy & Civic Engagement

In this interactive, facilitated online course, participants join a virtual community to explore the history and legacies of Canada’s Residential Schools, using primary source texts, survivors’ personal testimonies and live online learning classes that will equip educators to better understand the devastating history and the long-lasting impact of the Indian Residential School system, as well as Indigenous communities’ historic and contemporary fight for a promised education.

This course will model an approach to engaging young people in a supported and transformative learning journey that invites not only academic learning, but also emotional connection, ethical consideration and questions of civic engagement.  Together, we will explore the historical and institutional contexts that created a dehumanizing and assimilatory system of schooling, and bear witness to the testimonies of survivors. We will explore the legacies and responses to the Residential Schools, including the apologies given by government and churches, the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the work of the Indigenous communities to reclaim educational sovereignty.  We will use all these elements to help students connect this history to their own lives and the choices they make individually, and those we can make collectively for justice and reconciliation.

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

In this online course you will:

  1. Gather as a community through live online learning classes that will be supported with ceremony and teachings led by facilitators and Anishinaabe grandmother Geraldine Shingoose
  2. Receive historical background materials, classroom-ready scholar and survivor videos and participatory teaching strategies to engage secondary school students and adult learners in examining Canada’s Residential Schools
  3. Discover online and in-person teaching strategies that help students interrogate text, think critically, and discuss controversial issues respectfully
  4. Engage with survivor testimony through text, recorded interview, and live during an online learning class 
  5. Analyze the legacy of the Residential School System, the role of apology, and steps non-Indigenous people can take toward meaningful reconciliation
  6. 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 & Ourselves, your course facilitators, Elder Shingoose, and will 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.

  1. Opening and Welcome (Wed. October 19, 7 - 8:15pm EST)
  2. The Indian Act (Wed. November 2, 7:00-8:15pm EST)
  3. Survivor Testimony (Wed. November 16, 7 - 8:30 pm EST)
  4. Current Issues and Closing Call (Wed. November 30, 7 - 8:30 pm EST)
  5. (Live sessions will not be recorded.)

ASL-English Interpretation is available upon request. Please email jasmine_wong [at] facinghistory.org  no later than 6 September 2022.

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.

Lindsay Hutchison (Facilitator) lives and works on the shared, traditional and unceded territory of the Katzie, Kwantlen, and Semiahmoo First Nations. Lindsay is a teacher and Social Studies Department leader currently teaching 20th Century World History, Genocide Studies and Social Studies 10 in Surrey, British Columbia. Lindsay first encountered Facing History & Ourselves resources in 2013 while attending a teachers’ conference. Since then, the Facing History scope and sequence has played a central role in her planning, teaching and personal growth as Lindsay examines the implications of being the descendent of settlers and her personal responsibilities related to reconciliation. When she’s not teaching, Lindsay can be found spending time with her 7-year old son (often building Lego or playing superheroes), experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen or reading about history. Regardless of the activity, you will always see a cup of tea within Lindsay’s reach.

Gramma Geraldine Shingoose (Elder): I am Anishinaabe Ikwe from Tootinaowaziibeeng Treaty Reserve, Treaty 4 Territory.  My spirit names are Sky Woman, Northern Lights Woman and I come from the Bear Clan.  A nine-year Residential School Survivor who attended Muscowequan Residential School 1962-1971.  I am an Indigenous Grandmother who provides support and guidance in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Being a Knowledge Keeper in the community has brought me grace and love for all people.  I receive my strength from the grassroots movement who bring voice to all the colonial injustices experienced today.  Currently, as a Knowledge Keeper and Matriarch, I am bringing voice for the children who were found buried on the grounds of Residential Schools across Canada.  My voice can be heard in media outlets such as: CBC, CityTv News, NCI FM, CTV, APTN, BBC, TRT World News London, World News Radio New Zealand, and New York Times.  Ekosi & Chi Miigwetch.

Certificate of Completion

Awarded upon successful completion of the course for 20 professional development hours.

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