This content is also available in French. View the French version of the Stolen Lives book.


This chapter walks us through the experiences of survivors of Indian Residential Schools, from the time they were torn from their families, to their daily routines at the schools, and the long-lasting effects of the system on future generations.





Get an overview of the central themes you will explore in these readings on the residential school experience.

Reading 1 of 8

Parental Dilemmas

Indigenous elder, residential school survivor, and author Theodore Fontaine describes his mother's take on the residential schools.

Reading 2 of 8

"The Welcome"

Gilbert Oskaboose's tells the story of a child caught between the traditional ways of his people and the non-Indigenous culture at a residential school.

Reading 3 of 8

First Days

Albert Canadien recounts his first day at an Indian Residential School and the assimilation he experienced.

Reading 4 of 8


Read some of the curricular guidelines from Indian Residential Schools in Nova Scotia.

Reading 5 of 8

Language Loss

Theodore Fontaine recalls being punished as a student at Fort Alexander Residential School for speaking the Indigenous language Ojibway.

Reading 6 of 8

Schedule and Discipline

Learn about the methodical schedules and system of discipline and surveillance imposed on students of Indian Residential Schools.

Reading 7 of 8

Punishment and Abuse

Read recollections from former students about the frequent use of corporal punishment in Indian Residential Schools.

Reading 8 of 8


Learn about ways that parents and students spoke and acted out against the Indian Residential Schools system.

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