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List of 78 Residential Schools in Canada

Did you know there is a huge list of residential schools in Canada? Education plays an essential role in everyone’s career. However, there is something that people think is more important than the major you are enrolled in, the college or the university.

People access you based on your college or the location you pursued your qualification. Gone are the days when most students struggle to get into a good college or the university, considering the costs of a program amid scoring good grades. But today, it is quite the opposite of what it was before.

However, it is not about Harvard or Stanford. It is about 150,000 students annually who got separated from their roots to adjust to the non-native culture. It is about students who got forced to do something out of their interests, and it is about thousands of parents who lost their kids from pressure and stress.

It is about an educational institute that 30% of non-natives have attended. It is a Residential school in Canada. Here is everything you need to know about Indian residential schools in Canada.

What is a Residential School or Canada’s Residential Schools?

List of residential schools in canada
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The residential school or Indian residential school system is a network of boarding schools in Canada for non-Canadians or Indian students who immigrated to Canada. The Canadian government’s department of Indian affairs funded these institutions while Christian churches administered. One of the primary goals of residential schools is to make non-native students behave more like native Canadian and stay by the white customs and beliefs.

The term private schools allude to a broad educational system set up by the Canadian government and managed by places of worship that had the apparent target of instructing Native youngsters yet additionally the really harming and similarly express goals of teaching them into Euro-Canadian and Christian approaches to everyday life and acclimatizing them into traditional white Canadian culture.

The private educational system officially worked from the 1880s into the end many years of the twentieth hundred years. The framework effectively isolated kids from their families for expanded timeframes and disallowed them to recognize their Native legacy and culture or to communicate in their dialects.

Youngsters were seriously overlooked if these, among other drastic tricks, were broken. Previous understudies of private schools have discussed horrible maltreatment because of the school staff: physical, sexual, close to home, and mental.

Private schools furnished Native understudies with improper training, frequently simply up to bring down grades, that zeroed in principally on supplication and impossible work in agribusiness, light industry like carpentry, and homegrown work, for example, clothing work and sewing.

Private schools deliberately subverted Native, First Countries, Métis, and Inuit societies across Canada and disturbed families for ages, cutting off the ties through which Native culture is educated and maintained and adding to an overall loss of language and culture.

Since they were taken out from their families, numerous understudies grew up without encountering a sustaining everyday life and without the information and abilities to raise their own families.

The overwhelming impacts of the private schools are expansive and keep on fundamentally affecting Native people groups. The private educational system is generally viewed as a type of slaughter, the intentional endeavor of the public authority and church to destroy all parts of Native societies and life worlds.

Everything You Need to Know about Residential Schools:


List of residential schools in canada
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For more than a century, students from first nations, Inuit, and Métis were forced to study in residential schools, often far from their homes. The history of residential schools started in the 1800s, while the federal residential school system was opened in 1831.

The federal government of Canada agreed on the policy to fund residential schools. The residential school system started in the 17th century and lasted till the 1990s for 160 years, and 150,000 students attended the residential school every day.

The government had to establish these Indian residential schools for two main reasons. Primarily to escort Indigenous children from their roots, like family, tradition, and culture, and help them adapt to the dominant culture or the white traditions.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) inferred that residential schools were a methodical government-sponsored endeavor to obliterate aboriginal cultures and languages and to embody aboriginal people, so they no longer existed as different people. The TRC illustrated this sense as cultural genocide.

At first, the schools nestled in eastern Canada, but as the tradition moved towards the west sides of the Great lakes, so did the federally funded residential school, and slowly, they spread into 139 branches across Canada.

While thousands of students aged under 16 years were attending school, many indigenous communities had to lose their children due to the stress of leaving their homes, their parents, and everything they adored the most.

List of residential schools in canada
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However, the schools have not operated as they were supposed to, but it was exceptionally harsh. Sometimes, the overcrowded school’s education quality deprived while the pressure on learning the catholic culture left children no choice but to take on everything. Many indigenous children faced sexual abuse and were poorly punished for speaking their native languages. The staff did not take responsibility for the unacceptable actions in the schools.

1870-1910 -When the missionaries and government came onto the same page to assimilate indigenous children into the lower boundaries of mainstream civilization.

1920 – Mandatory attendance for all indigenous children aged between 7-15 years. Children were forcibly taken from their households by preachers, Indian agents, and police officials.

1931 – 80 residential schools were operating in Canada.

1948 – 72 residential schools operated with 9,368 students.

1979 – 12 residential schools functioned with 1,899 students.

1980 – Residential School trainees began divulging sexual and other forms of abuse at residential schools.

1996 – The last residential school, the Gordon Residential School, closes in Saskatchewan.

1998 – The Assembly of First Nations demonstrates the Indian Residential Schools Resolution Unit.

What led to Residential Schools:

The early beginnings of private schools in Canada are tracked down in the execution of the mission framework during the 1600s. The holy places and European pioneers suspected their progress was human accomplishment’s zenith.

List of residential schools in canada
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They clarified the socio-social contrasts among themselves and Native People groups as evidence that Canada’s most memorable occupants were unaware, savage, and like youngsters needing direction. They wanted to acculturate native People groups. A government schooling responsibility turned into the essential means to this end.

Canadian State leader John A. Macdonald appointed columnist and lawmaker Nicholas Flood Davin to read up on modern schools for Native kids in the U.S. Davin’s proposal to follow the U.S. illustration of “forceful human progress” prompted public financing for the private educational system.

“Assuming anything is to be finished with the Indian, we should get him extremely youthful. The youngsters should be kept continually inside the circle of socialized conditions,” Davin wrote in his 1879 Report on Modern Schools for Indians and Crossbreeds (Davin’s report can be understood here.)

During the 1880s, related to other bureaucratic digestion approaches, the public authority started to lay out private schools across Canada. Specialists would habitually take kids to schools a long way from their home networks, part of a methodology to turn them away from their families and recognizable environmental factors.

In 1920, under the Indian Demonstration, it became required for each Native kid to go to a private school and unlawful for them to go to some other instructive foundation.

Living Conditions in Residential Schools:

The motivation behind the private schools was to distribute all parts of Native culture. Students’ hairstyles were short, outfits and their days were controlled by schedules. Young men and young ladies were kept discrete and barely interfaced with distant decline family ties.

Boss Bobby Joseph of the Indian Private School Survivors Society reviews that he had no clue how to cooperate with young ladies and never at any point got to know his sister past a simple wave in the feasting room.

Moreover, understudies were taboo to communicate in their dialects, even though numerous kids knew no other, or to rehearse Native traditions or customs. Violation of these guidelines was seriously overlooked.

Private school understudies did not get similar training as everyone in the government-funded educational system, and the schools were painfully underfunded. Lessons zeroed in basically on reasonable abilities. Young ladies were prepared for homegrown assistance and showed to do clothing, sew, cook, and clean.

Young men were shown carpentry, tinsmithing, and cultivating. This work was compulsory and, if neglected, was introduced as sufficient preparation for the understudies. Numerous understudies went to class part-time and worked for the school the remainder of the time, while young ladies did the housekeeping.

However, a considerable lot of private schools could not run without it. With brief periods spent in class, most understudies had just arrived at grade five. Many were deterred from seeking additional schooling.

Maltreatment at the schools was boundless: close to home and mental health was consistent, actual maltreatment was metered out as discipline, and sexual harassment was likewise natural. Survivors were beaten and tied; a few residential students were shackled to their beds; some had needles pushed in their tongues because of expressing their local dialects.

This maltreatment, alongside congestion, unfortunate sterilization, and seriously lacking food and medical care, brought about an incredibly high loss of life. In 1907, government clinical examiner P.H. Bryce revealed that 24% of already solid Native youngsters across Canada were biting the dust in private schools.

This figure does exclude kids who kicked the bucket at home, where they were often sent when sick. Bryce announced that somewhere in the range of 47% (on the Peigan Hold in Alberta) to 75% (from Record Slopes Live-in School in Saskatchewan) of understudies released from private schools pass away soon after getting back.

Nonetheless, the Imperial Commission on Native People groups (RCAP) and John Milloy, among others, determined that church and state authorities were thoroughly mindful of the maltreatment and misfortunes at the schools.

A few monitors and administrations communicated caution at the sickening demise rates, yet the people who stood up and called for change were, by and large, met with quietness and absence of help.

The Branch of Indian Undertakings would vow to work on the schools. However, the terrible circumstances endured.

List of Residential schools in Canada:

List of residential schools in Canada
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Some of the residential schools in Canada are:

  1. Assumption (Hay Lakes) Indian Residential School
  2. Blue Quill’s Indian Residential School
  3. Hospice of St. Joseph St. Paul’s Boarding School
  4. Holy Angels Indian Residential School
  5. Crowfoot Indian Residential School
  6. St. Joseph’s Industrial School
  7. High River Industrial School
  8. Edmonton Residential School
  9. Red Deer Industrial School
  10. Ermineskin Indian Residential School Hobbema
  11. St. Mary’s Indian Residential School
  12. Immaculate Conception Boarding School
  13. Morley Residential School
  14. Old Sun Residential School
  15. Sacred Heart (Peigan) Residential School
  16. Red Deer Industrial School
  17. St. Albert (Youville) Residential School
  18. Whitefish Lake (St. Andrew’s) Residential School
  19. Grouard (St. Bernard’s) Residential School
  20. Joussard (St. Bruno’s) Residential School
  21. St. Cyprian’s (Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Home) Residential School
  22. Fort Vermilion (St. Henri) Residential School
  23. Wabasca (St. John’s) Residential School
  24. Desmarais (St. Martin’s) Residential School
  25. St. Paul’s (Blood) Residential School
  26. Lesser Slave Lake (St. Peter’s) Residential School
  27. Alberni Indian Residential School
  28. Ahousaht Indian Residential School
  29. Anaheim Lake Dormitory (Ulkatcho) Residential School
  30. Christie (Clayoquot/Kakawis) Residential School
  31. Kamloops (St. Louis) Residential School
  32. Kitimat Indian Residential School
  33. Kootenay (St. Eugene’s/St. Mary’s Residential School
  34. Kuper Island Indian Residential School
  35. Lejac (Stuart Lake) Residential School
  36. Lower Post Indian Residential School
  37. Coqualeetza (Chilliwack Home) Residential School
  38. Metlakatla Indian Residential School
  39. Port Simpson Residential School
  40. Presbyterian Coqualeetza Indian Residential School
List of residential schools in canada
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41. Sechelt Indian Residential School

42. St. Paul’s Indian Residential School

43. St. George’s (Lytton) Indian Residential School

44. St. Mary’s Mission Indian Residential School

45. St. Michael’s (Alert Bay) Indian Residential School

46. Williams Lake Indian Residential School

47. Yale Indian Residential School

48. Yuquot Indian Residential School

49. Assiniboia Indian Residential School

50. Birtle Indian Residential School

51. Brandon Indian Residential School

52. Cross Lake Indian Residential School

53. Elkhorn Indian Residential School

54. Elkhorn Indian Residential School

55. Fort Alexander Indian Residential School

56. Guy Hill Indian Residential School

57. Lake St. Martin Indian Residential School

58. MacKay Indian Residential School

59. MacKay Indian Residential School

60. Norway House Methodist Indian Residential School

61. Pine Creek Indian Residential School

62. Portage la Prairie Methodist Indian Residential School

63. Sandy Bay Indian Residential School

64. St. Boniface Industrial School

65. St. Paul’s Industrial School

66. Waterhen Indian Residential School

67. Lockwood School

68. Makkovik Boarding School

69. Nain Boarding School

70. Aklavik Anglican Indian Residential School

71. All Saints Indian Residential School

72. Aklavik Catholic Indian Residential School

73. Later, Inuvik Indian Residential School

74. Fort McPherson Indian Residential School

75. Fort Providence Indian Residential School

76. Fort Resolution Indian Residential School

77. Fort Simpson Indian Residential School

78. Roman Catholic Coqualeetza Indian Residential School

Facts you should know about the Indigenous schools:

Operated for one century.

The idea of residential schools sprouted in 1800. However, it took them a while to establish the funded schools in the 1830s. With a mission to assimilate the non-Canadians or indigenous children, the school was a single campus initially, slowly spreading into nearly 139 branches in all parts of Canada.

Since its establishment, the Canadian government and church officials successfully ran residential schools until 1996, with 150,000 students attending residential schools.

Poor life:

Indigenous people living in the 21 century are the residential school survivors who happened to claim that the residential schools provided a poor life in every aspect. From education to food, the management was not hygienic. Indigenous children were forced to abide by the catholic culture, and the food provided by the institution was not nutritious enough. Children were exposed to abuse at an early age and many more.

Most times, the children had to spend their time running around the institute doing the chores like cooking and cleaning because of releasing low funds. Due to the high population, situations became unsafe for students to work, and child abuse skyrocketed.

Forced Assimilation

After the federal government established residential schools, indigenous students were forced to attend the institution, and the management made attendance mandatory for kids between 8 to 16 years old. To stand by their motive, the staff members forced students to follow the white culture while forbidding them from practicing their native culture and language.

The staff members bathed students with chemicals to make them look like a native with fair skin, cut their long hair, and urged them to wear Western uniforms. The classes were taught only in English and French, which some students did not understand completely.

Nutritional Experiments

Due to underfunding, many children were malnourished and were sent to laboratories to perform nutritional experiments on them with the federal government’s knowledge and without their parent’s consent. This group of institutions has used kids as puppets in the science field whose experiments did not result successfully, yet students were kept hungry during their time in laboratories.

Cruel Punishments

Residential schools were also known for punishing students cruelly. Residential school students were only allowed to use everything, just like native Canadians. Other than that, if students were open to native stuff, they were hardly punished.

Some punishments include tongue piercings for speaking their native language other than English and French, burning hands, public strip teases, electric shocks, locked-in cages, and many more.

Stolen Children | Residential School survivors speak out

Frequent Student Deaths

The deaths were common on residential school campuses as the institution was maintained strictly under unsatisfactory rules and regulations. The school architecture plans also included a graveyard because the death rates in these institutions raged between 30 to 60% in the first five years of establishment.

These percentages were only the assumptions of former students as the government stopped maintaining the record of death rates at a certain point.

The prominent disease that took its toll on thousands of students is tuberculosis. This one ailment had spread widely due to unhygienic practices without proper medication at the right time. Other deaths were due to suicides, trying to escape from school, and unsafe working conditions.

Sexual Abuse

Former residential schools had witnessed students facing sexual abuse, both boys and girls. They were raped not only by the priests and the other staff but also by the senior students. Later, the pregnant girls were asked to abort the baby.

Occasional resistance by students

Some students opted to run away from the college, while others burned the school down because they did not like the situation and the conditions they were forced to live in. Students who ran away never came home or the class alive.

Separated from the family

Students from the indigenous communities were taken to residential schools forcibly. Parents were beaten and arrested if they had restricted students from taking to school. Although, the parents who gave permission were given false information about the school’s goals. Siblings were sent to the same schools, yet they were separated due to the gender separation rules implemented on the campus.

The assimilated students were not allowed to meet their families once they turned 18. But until then, they were not sent to their families, even on holidays like funerals, health issues, and other festivals. Students had to write letters to their parents if they had to share anything.

Similarly, parents had to do the same if they had to send something or discuss family news. However, most were kept near nuns and priests running the institution.

Psychological Effects

Students aged 18 were released and allowed to meet their families. However, their mindset did not seem to broaden even after meeting their families. They could not communicate appropriately, could not recognize the cultures properly, the depression and loneliness, and were raised without love and care. These factors had influenced and are influencing the former surviving students in raising their children.


For over a century, residential schools had failed to stand by the promises they made to thousands of families by ill-treating the students.


  • Reddy Mohith

    Reddy Mohith is a blogger, content writer, and social media marketer, dissipating into other areas - graphic designing and SEO. With almost two years of experience, he is an SEO content writer specializing in lifestyle, health, finance, eCommerce, entertainment, books, and technical niches.

  1. Canada places a high value on the quality of education, and its schools consistently rank well globally. The curriculum is designed to provide a well-rounded education, encompassing.

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