Generations Lost: Healing the Legacy of Residential Schools

For several centuries, Indigenous children were taken from their homes and communities and placed in institutions called Residential Schools. These schools were run by religious orders in collaboration with the Federal Government and were attended by children as young as four or five years of age.

Separated from their families and prohibited from speaking their native languages and practicing their culture, the vast majority of the over 150,000 children that attended these schools experienced neglect and suffering. The impacts of sexual, mental, and physical abuse, shame, and deprivation endured at Residential Schools continue to affect generations of Survivors, their families, and communities today. Remarkably, in the face of this tremendous adversity, many Survivors and their descendants have retained their language and their culture and continue to work toward healing and Reconciliation. This is likely due to their traditional and cultural beliefs, teachings and way of life prior to attending Residential Schools.