Teaching the History and Legacies of Canada’s Residential Schools | Facing History & Ourselves
Facing History & Ourselves
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Professional Learning

Teaching the History and Legacies of Canada’s Residential Schools

An interactive, facilitated online course - gain confidence, skills and resources to teach the history and legacies of Canada’s Residential Schools.

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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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Instructor-Led & Self-Paced

This professional learning event will be led by Facing History staff and also contains portions that are self-paced and delivered virtually. When you register, you will receive instructions for how access and participate in the event.

This event qualifies for Certificate of Completion.

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

Civics & Citizenship History Social Studies
Culture & Identity Democracy & Civic Engagement Genocide Human & Civil Rights Racism Resistance
Equity Education Social-Emotional Learning

Key Points

  1. Experience an inspiring approach to engaging young people in a supported and transformative learning journey into the history, legacies and responses to Canada’s residential schools

  2. Explore historical background materials, classroom-ready scholar and survivor videos, and primary source texts through modeled teaching strategies

  3. Engage with colleagues, facilitators, Grandmother Geraldine Shingoose and survivor Sherlene Bomberry within an intentional learning community that centres social, emotional and cultural care

  4. Gain knowledge, skills, resources, strategies and experiences to humanize and connect the history

In this interactive, facilitated online course, participants are welcomed into a courageous community to explore the history and legacies of Canada’s Residential Schools.  Through asynchronous (self-paced) classroom-ready activities and synchronous online learning classes, you will gain a deeper understanding of how to bring 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 into the classroom.

You will experience an inspiring 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 Lorrie Gallant and Lindsay Hutchison and Anishinaabe grandmother Geraldine Shingoose.
  2. Explore historical background materials, classroom-ready scholar and survivor videos and experience 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 with Elder and Mohawk Institute survivor Sherlene Bomberry 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.

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: 6th - 12th grade Canadian History, Social Science, 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, Anishinaabe Grandmother Shingoose, and will connect you with other educators in the course. Modules 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 2.5  hours for the opening week. 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 75-90 minute facilitated, synchronous Zoom online classes:

  • Opening and Welcome (Wed. November 8  7-8:15pm ET)
  • The Indian Act (Wed. November 22, 7-8:15pm ET)
  • Survivor Testimony (Wed. November 29,  7-8:30pm ET)
  • Current Issues and Closing Call (Wed. December 13, 7-8:15pm ET)

Details for joining the Canvas and the Zoom sessions will be shared by email prior to the event.

ASL-English Interpretation is available free of charge.   Please request this service by emailing canada [at] facinghistory.org  no later than September 23rd.

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

About the Facilitators and Guests:

Lorrie Gallant (Facilitator)

Profile of Lorrie Gallant.

Lindsay Hutchison (Facilitator)

Portrait of Lindsay Hutchinson.

Gramma Geraldine Shingoose (Elder):

Portrait of  Gramma Shingoose

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