Kamloops Residential School Resources

The Kamloops Residential School resource list includes links to websites, videos, book titles and government reports. The intent of this page is to help individuals of all cultural backgrounds gain an understanding of the authentic history of Kamloops Residential School, and the findings that took place there.

A National Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support to former students. This 24-Hour Crisis Line can be accessed at: 1-866-925-4419. Additional healing and wellness resources are available here

WEB RESOURCES


NCTR National Student Memorial Register
“The memorial site remembers, honours and acknowledges those children who died while attending a Residential School in Canada. This site represents the first time the names of children that never returned from the schools are commemorated and made available on a national basis in Canada”-- Student Memorial Register FAQ. 

Citation: National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. (n.d.). National student memorial register: Remembering the children who never returned homehttps://memorial.nctr.ca 

Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park
The Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of [Secwépemc] culture and language. [The] museum is home to a variety of exhibits that offer an insightful look into Secwépemc culture, heritage and  Secwepemcúl̓ecw (Secwépemc land). There are displays about life before contact, ethnobotony, the Kamloops Indian Residental School as well as contemporary topics and Secwépemc art”--About Page, Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park. 

“The Kamloops Indian Residential School tour provides an excellent learning opportunity to learn about the untold history of residential schools in Canada. The tour start with a 20 minute introductory video titled ‘Eyes of Children,’ produced by CBC. Following the video, the tour takes [visitors] into [the] first gallery, where a discussion is led by [a] guide about the history and timeline of residential schools in Canada, with an emphasis on the Kamloops Indian Residential School. The last leg of the tour brings [visitors] to the fourth floor of the residential school building, previously the boys dormitory”--Tours Page, Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park. 

Citation: Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park.(n.d.). Abouthttps://secwepemcmuseum.ca/about 
Citation: Secwépemc Museum and Heritage Park. (n.d.). Tours.https://secwepemcmuseum.ca/tours 

VIDEOS


Indian Residential School, Kamloops, ca. 1937
“Footage [from the Royal BC Museum of the Kamloops Indian Residential School] showing children at play on the school grounds. Filmed by Vancouver filmmaker Alfred E. Booth (1892-1977)”--Note for Item AAAA1034 - [Kamloops] : [footage and out-takes], BC Archives and video description, Royal BC Museum YouTube channel 

Citation: Booth, A. E. (ca. 1937-1939). Indian Residential School, Kamloops, ca. 1937 [Film]. Royal BC Museum. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuO1KFSH6-4
 
 Cowboys, Indians and Education: Regenerating Secwepemc Culture and Language
"This film follows the children and grandchildren of former Kamloops Indian Residential School students as they work to regenerate traditional knowledge in their current contexts. It explores the tensions encountered as activists, educators, a poet and a rodeo family each work to find an uncompromising balance between ensuring culture and language live on while deploying western literacies to accomplish their goals"--distributor's website. 

Citation: Haig-Brown, C., & Haig-Brown, H. (2012). Cowboys, Indians and education: Regenerating Secwepemc culture and language. V tape. [DVD] 

Surviving the Kamloops Indian Residential School and the Struggle for a Settlement
“A special edition of Nation To Nation from the Kamloops Indian Residential School. In this episode, [APTN News] focus[es] on the forgotten Day Scholars and their struggle for a settlement. [This video includes] more details about their lawsuit over abuse and loss of language and culture, [as well as an] interview with a survivor”--APTN News Youtube channel.  

Citation: Surviving the Kamloops Indian Residential School and the struggle for a settlement [TV series episode]. (2018). Nation To Nation. Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJ7qm6m973U  
 

BOOKS AND E-BOOKS


Back from the Brink: Decolonizing Through the Restoration of Secwepemc Language, Culture, and Identity
“This qualitative study reports the development of an education/training model based on Secwepemc language, culture, values, beliefs, and way of life. The model includes a decolonization agenda. A critical theory framework and Indigenous research method are used to examine three basic questions. What were traditional Secwepemc epistemology and pedagogy? What disrupted these processes? What are the remedies? I introduce the context with a brief outline of our pre-contact way of life. Historical documents and Elders’ voices provide evidence of how this way of life was disrupted and impacted by the arrival of European settlers and ensuing colonization. The Elders describe their lived experiences of colonization, in particular, how their attendance at the Kamloops Indian Residential School contributed to the loss of Secwepemc language, culture, and way of life: this institution contributed to the breakdown of traditional lifestyle, including pedagogy, child rearing, and family structures […]”--abstract. 

Billy, J. R. (2009). Back from the brink: Decolonizing through the restoration of Secwepemc language, culture, and identity [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Simon Fraser University.

Gladys We Never Knew: The Life of a Child in a BC Indian Residential School. 
This interactive e-book, developed by the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF) Aboriginal Education Program, is based on the life of Gladys Champman. Gladys was a member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation and her family had strong ties with the Spuzzum community, north of Hope, British Columbia. Along with four of her siblings, she attended Kamloops Residential School in the 1920s. At the age of twelve she fell ill, was admitted to Inland Hospital in Kamloops, and died, separated from her family. Gladys’ family members, including Gail and Janet Stromquist, both school teachers in British Columbia, researched Gladys’ life and contributed to the book, in an effort to educate children about residential schools. This web-based, content rich and learner-centred 157-page resource leads educators “from the story to the 'back story' utilizing links on each page to offer related resources...including films, videos, documents, articles, activities and more”--project website.

Citation: British Columbia Teachers' Federation Aboriginal Education Program. (n.d.). Gladys we never knew: The life of a child in a BC Indian Residential Schoolhttps://www.bctf.ca/GladysWeNeverKnew/
 
The Story of a National Crime, Being an Appeal for Justice to the Indians of Canada
Working for the federal government, Peter Bryce repeatedly reported that tuberculosis and poor conditions in residential schools were decimating Aboriginal populations. 

Citation: Bryce, P. H. (1922). The story of a national crime, being an appeal for justice to the Indians of Canada. J. Hope & Sons.  

Kamloops History: The Dark and Difficult Legacy of the Kamloops Indian Residential School
"Children were forcibly removed from their homes once attendance became mandatory by law in the 1920s, with their parents under threat of prison if they refused. The children were not allowed to speak their native language nor practice their own spirituality. Many children ran away and some disappeared and died"--"Kamloops history: The dark and difficult legacy of the Kamloops Indian Residential School". 

Citation: Favrholdt, K. (2020, October 7). Kamloops history: The dark and difficult legacy of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Kamloops This Week.  

The Kamloops Residential School: Indigenous Perspectives and Revising Canada's History
This study "examines the Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS). This thesis examines a variety of government, Oblate, testimonial records, and newspaper articles which each give a glimpse of the Canadian government’s assimilative objective for residential schools and the effects it had on KIRS students"--abstract.

Citation: Foster, J. (2010). The Kamloops Residential School: Indigenous perspectives and revising Canada's history [Unpublished undergraduate honours thesis]. University of British Columbia. https://dx.doi.org/10.14288/1.0076003 

Finding My Talk: How Fourteen Canadian Native Women Reclaimed their Lives after Residential School
"In Finding My Talk, fourteen aboriginal women who attended residential schools, or were affected by them, reflect on their experiences. They describe their years in residential schools across Canada and how they overcame tremendous obstacles to become strong and independent members of aboriginal cultures"--publisher's website. See in particular, the chapter, “Shirley Sterling, Nlakapmux, British Columbia Kamloops Indian Residential School.” 

Citation: Grant, A. (2004). Finding my talk: How fourteen Canadian native women reclaimed their lives after residential school. Fifth House. 

Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School
"The purpose of this book is primarily to present Native perspectives of the Kamloops Indian Residential School, and to provide a limited overview of how Native education has evolved. Thirteen interviews with Native people of the central Interior of British Columbia, former students of the school, form the nucleus of this study"--Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School, pg. 25.

Citation: Haig-Brown, C. (1988). Resistance and renewal: Surviving the Indian residential school. Arsenal Pulp Press. 

Behind closed doors: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School
"Behind Closed Doors features written testimonials from thirty-two individuals who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School. The school was one of many infamous residential schools that operated from 1893 to 1979. The storytellers remember and share with us their stolen time at the school; many stories are told through courageous tears"--publisher's website.

Citation: Jack, A. S., & Secwepemc Cultural Education Society. (2001). Behind closed doors: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Secwepemc Cultural Education Society. 

Project of Heart: Illuminating the Hidden History of Indian Residential Schools in BC
"Through the Project of Heart, tens of thousands of elementary and secondary students have learned from residential school survivors about how Canadian governments, churches and society violated the rights of Aboriginal children and families over decades"--Project of heart: Illuminating the hidden history of Indian residential schools in BC, pg. 6.

Citation: Knickerbocker, N., & British Columbia Teachers' Federation. (2015). Project of heart: Illuminating the hidden history of Indian Residential Schools in BC. British Columbia Teachers’ Federation. https://bctf.ca/HiddenHistory/eBook.pdf

Roman Catholic Indian Residential Schools in British Columbia
"The Oblates of Mary Immaculate, along with several Congregations of Sisters, played a major role in the Indian Residential schools in Canada . . . [This booklet] attempts to situate the schools in their historical context . . . The first part presents an historical overview of the schools. This is followed by a consideration of some of the controversial issues regarding the nature of the schools and the conditions in them. Finally, the booklet takes a cursory look at each of the Catholic residential schools in British Columbia, and supplies data concerning residential school enrolment and funding on both the provincial and national levels"--Introduction. 

Lascelles, Thomas A. (1990). Roman Catholic Indian Residential Schools in British Columbia. Vancouver: Order of OMI in B.C. 
 
Invasion and Resistance: Native Perspectives of the Kamloops Indian Residential School
This is the master's thesis upon which the book, Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School was based. The purpose of the thesis is "to present Native perspectives of the Kamloops Indian Residential School." It consists of "thirteen interviews with Native people of the central Interior of British Columbia, former students of the school, form the nucleus of the study"--abstract. 

Citation: Vayro, C. H. (1986). Invasion and resistance: Native perspectives of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. University of British Columbia. 

Kamloops Indian Residential School 
Citation: Yuen, V. (1990). Kamloops Indian Residential School [Unpublished essay]. 
 

REPORTS


Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
“Established in August 1991, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples was tasked with a broad range of issues, many of which are complex and deal with long standing matters in the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada. The Commission's investigation covered a broad spectrum of the Aboriginal experience in Canada including: the history of the relations between Aboriginal peoples, the Canadian government, and Canadian society as a whole; the recognition of self government; the land base for Aboriginal peoples; the constitutional responsibilities of the Canadian Crown toward Aboriginal peoples and the legal position of the Metis and off-reserve Indians; Aboriginal treaties and modern-day agreements; special difficulties of Aboriginal people who live in the North; the Indian Act and the role of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs; social, economic, and cultural issues of concern to Aboriginal peoples; the position and role of Aboriginal elders and women and the situation of Aboriginal youth; and education and justice issues of concern to Aboriginal peoples” --Library and Archives Canada. 

Citation: Dussault, R., Erasmus, G., & Canada. (1996). Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Canadian Communication Group. See in particular, Chapter 10, “Residential Schools,” in Volume 1, Looking Forward, Look Back

Canada's Residential Schools: Origins to 1939
"Canada’s Residential Schools: The History, Part 1, Origins to 1939 places Canada’s residential school system in the historical context of European campaigns to colonize and convert Indigenous people throughout the world. In post-Confederation Canada, the government adopted what amounted to a policy of cultural genocide: suppressing spiritual practices, disrupting traditional economies, and imposing new forms of government. Residential schooling quickly became a central element in this policy"--Publisher. 

Citation: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2015). Canada's residential schools: The history, Part 1, Origins to 1939; The final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (Vol. 1). Published for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada by McGill-Queen's University Press.  

Canada's Residential Schools: 1939 to 2000
"Canada’s Residential Schools: The History, Part 2, 1939 to 2000 carries the story of the residential school system from the end of the Great Depression to the closing of the last remaining schools in the late 1990s. It demonstrates that the underfunding and unsafe living conditions that characterized the early history of the schools continued into an era of unprecedented growth and prosperity for most Canadians. A miserly funding formula meant that into the late 1950s school meals fell short of the Canada Food Rules. Overcrowding, poor sanitation, and a failure to adhere to fire safety rules were common problems throughout this period"--publisher. 

Citation: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2015). Canada's residential schools: The history, Part 1, 1939 to 2000; The final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (Vol. 1). Published for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada by McGill-Queen's University Press.

Canada's Residential Schools: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials
"Canada’s Residential Schools: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials is the first systematic effort to record and analyze deaths at the schools, and the presence and condition of student cemeteries, within the regulatory context in which the schools were intended to operate. As part of its work the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada established a National Residential School Student Death Register. Due to gaps in the available data, the register is far from complete. Although the actual number of deaths is believed to be far higher, 3,200 residential school victims have been identified. The analysis also demonstrates that residential school death rates were significantly higher than those for the general Canadian school-aged population"--publisher. 

Citation: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2015). Canada's residential schools: Missing children and unmarked burials; The final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (Vol. 4). Published for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission by McGill-Queen's University Press. 

Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
The summary of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, also referred to as the Executive Summary, was published on Tuesday June 2, 2015. It includes the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its 94 Calls to Action. This summary was published prior to the release of the full six volume final report, titled Canada's Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and published on Tuesday December 15, 2015. 

Citation: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2015). Honouring the truth, reconciling for the future: Summary of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. 

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
In order to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission makes 94 calls to action. Calls 71 to 76 relate to Missing Children and Unmarked Burials. 

Citation: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. (2015). Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to action. Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.