The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) are a Roman Catholic order of Priests and Brothers. They were established in Southern France in the early nineteenth century. While their initial efforts focused on the poor in rural France, in the 1840s they began undertaking international missionary work. Canada was their first international site -- OMI missionaries arrived in Montreal in 1841. In 1860, OMI missions were first established in what would later become the province of British Columbia. Primarily responsible establishing the Catholic Church in Western Canada, the focus of their endeavours was the conversion of Indigenous peoples to Christianity.
The OMI oversaw the largest number of residential schools in Canada, fifty seven, ten of which were located in British Columbia. They operated in collaboration with female Catholic orders, which included the Sisters of Charity (the Grey Nuns), the Sisters of Providence, the Sisters of Saint Ann, and the Missionary Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart and Mary Immaculate, the Sisters of Assumption, the Benedictine Sisters, the Daughters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Sisters of Notre Dame in Québec. Today the OMI in Canada consists of three ecclesiastical provinces: Notre-Dame-du-Cap, Lacombe, and Assumption.