Residential Schools 

Books & Educator Guides

Truth and Reconciliation Week: September 25 - September 30, 2023

2023 Theme: 

Gidinawendimin / We Are All Related / Nous sommes tous liés

Resources for the Classroom


Books for the Classroom in All Schools

Primary Classes

You Hold Me Up Author's Note

When We Were Alone Pronunciations

When We Were Alone Teachers Guide.pdf

When We Were Alone Teacher Guide by David Robertson

Primary/Junior Classes


Junior/Intermediate Classes

Speaking Our Truth by Monique Gray Smith


         Speaking Our Truth Teacher's Guide 

Intermediate/Senior Classes

See lesson plan here in English and in French for "I Lost My Talk" by Rita Joe.


I Lost My Talk is based on the poem by Mi'kmaw elder and poet Rita Joe, C.M. Rita Joe penned her poem to express not only the pain and suffering she experienced at Schubenacadie Residential School in Nova Scotia, but also her hope and conviction that her words could guide and inspire indigenous and non-indigenous peoples across Canada to journey to a place of strength and healing. 

I Lost My Talk by Rita Joe 


Grades 8 - 12 Literature Kits available upon request. 

Residential Schools Literature Kits

Use this folder for an updated and complete list and links to current resources in your school. 

Texts in Schools

Senior Classes

Online Guides & Resources 

Child-friendly Guide to the Calls to Action 

EduClaTruthandReconciliationWeek2021EducatorsGuide (1).pdf

Voices From Here Video Series and Interactive Text


Facing History Downloadable PDF Resource in English & French

The bodies of the 215 children found marks an important time in history where the truth that was always known was undeniable. This marked the beginning of bringing the children home across the nation.

Meaningful Reconciliation & Taking Action


This unit explores the causes and consequences of residential schools in Canada. Developed in collaboration with Grand Erie District School Board, Six Nations of the Grand River’s Education Department, and the Mississaugas of New Credit, this resource supports educators and learners in using a critical-inquiry approach to develop deep understandings of some of the complex, challenging, and painful events that have affected the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. This resource invites thoughtful and reflective explorations that move us beyond understanding the past and into our roles and responsibilities in the present. Designed for grade six and up. 

Take Action Together! 

Use this template to get started with writing a letter to advocate for change! 

Taking Action Together - Template Letter.docx

Online Resources 


Use tiles as a reflection tool and commemoration exhibit to honor those who attended Residential Schools and their families. Click on the title above / image below and the pdf beside to view classroom/school ideas.

Project of Heart Resource Booklet (1).pdf

You Hold Me Up, read by author Monique Gray Smith

The Secret Path

Gord Downie, the lead singer of the Canadian band,  The Tragically Hip, is bringing attention to one of the most haunting legacies in our country's history - the residential school system and the children and families who were affected by it all. Downie released a multimedia project called The Secret Path, which consists of an album with 10 new songs, and a graphic novel by Jeff Lemire. The project is devoted to sharing the story of 12 year old Chanie Wenjack, an Anishinabe boy who died from hunger and exposure after escaping from his residential school to try and find his way home. 

The Secret Path - CBC Arts

Rosanna Deerchild shares her mother's residential school story.

The Métis Residential School Experience

The Inuit Residential School Experience

Planning Resources & Lesson Plans

Resource Folder

This resource folder contains the files in connection with residential schools and recognizing the legacy of residential schools before, during, and after Orange Shirt Day.  Click on this folder to expand.