Learn about the public apologies issued by several churches in the years following critical reports and testimony from residential school survivors.
As Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald said in 1887, after the residential schools began to operate, “The great aim of our legislation has been to do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with the other inhabitants of the Dominion as speedily as they are fit to change.” Yet despite this high talk of Indian enfranchisement, the official process designed to assimilate indigenous people as soon as possible, In
From 1883 onward, the federal government sought a system to enroll indigenous children in schools. Day schools and industrial schools were to serve alongside the residential schools to meet this growing challenge. One of the most important historians of the residential schools, James R. Miller, estimates that a great number of indigenous students were, in fact, educated in day schools, although the residential schools left the most painful, long-lasting marks on indigenous communities.