While in Canada there were residential schools in New France as early as the 17th century, the residential school system did not develop until after the passage of the Indian Act in 1876, which gave the federal government the right and responsibility to educate (and assimilate) Indigenous peoples in Canada. Beginning in the 1880s, the government worked with the Catholic and Protestant churches to establish a residential school system across Canada. In 1894, the Indian Act was amended to make residential school attendance compulsory. In 1930, when the system was at its peak, there were about 80 schools across Canada, mainly in the western provinces and territories, although some existed in northwestern Ontario and also in northern Quebec. Although some educators were hired, the experience was traumatic for many Indigenous children who were removed from their families and subjected to severe discipline, devaluation of their culture and religion, and even physical and sexual abuse. In 1969, the government decided to end its partnership with churches and students were gradually integrated into the province`s school systems, although the last boarding school was not closed until 1996. Approximately 150,000 Aboriginal youth attended residential schools from the 1880s to the 1990s, and it was estimated that 80,000 to 90,000 former students would be affected by the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. On September 30, 2019, the names of 2800 children who died in residential schools across Canada were released by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at a ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec (see Truth and Reconciliation Commission). The ceremony was the culmination of years of archival research on government and religious records that examined Indigenous children in 80 schools across the country, with records dating back to the 1890s. According to archivists, another 1600 children who died in residential schools remain anonymous, and researchers continue to dig through the archives to discover their identities.
The TRC presented its findings in a series of reports in June 2015, with a full final version of the report published in December 2015. The final report Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future documents the tragic experiences of some 150,000 Canadian residential school survivors. On November 23, 2005, the Canadian federal government announced the IRSSA compensation package.  This is the largest class action lawsuit in Canadian history. On the 11th. In June 2008, Prime Minister Harper apologized “on behalf of the Government of Canada and all Canadians for forcibly removing Aboriginal children from their homes and communities to attend residential schools. As of December 31, 2012, more than $1.7 billion had been spent under the IAP. According to Dan Ish, Chief Juror of the Indian Residential Schools Adjudication Secretariat, about three times as many applications have been received than expected, and the IAP is expected to continue hearings until about 2017. With respect to healing and reconciliation commitments, lawyers reduced the Aboriginal Healing Foundation`s $29 million to $18 million, administrative deductions.
Payments came slowly. We sent letters to the government, and the government put pressure on Catholic institutions. It was a nightmare for our accountants, who never knew when and how much the money would arrive. When $1.6 million of the $18 million remained, lawyers asked him for legal fees. At that time, the federal government stepped in and sued them. Under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, $1.9 billion was allocated to all former school residents. Each alumnus received $10,000 for the first year of school and $3,000 for each subsequent year. According to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), 98% of the approximately 80,000 eligible alumni had received a payment by the end of December 2012, and more than $1.6 billion had been disbursed. The TRC completed its work on 15 December 2015. The TRC`s seven-volume final report details what happened to former students of Indian Residential Schools who experienced physical and sexual violence, as well as the ongoing impact on First Nations families and communities. The TRC issued 94 Calls to Action to address the legacy of Residential Schools. The calls to action include a call to reject the “discovery doctrine,” which gave European colonizers the right to claim the discovered lands as their own, as well as a call to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
After Fontaine`s public statement and the resistance and events surrounding Oka in 1990, the Canadian government responded in part by launching the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. The commission was established in 1991 and has held hearings with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and individuals across Canada. An important finding that emerged from the Royal Commission was the history of residential schools in Canada. In 1998, the Canadian government responded to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples by establishing the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. The Healing Foundation has offered community-based and survivor-focused healing projects across Canada, laying the foundation for healing support and research based on the needs of the community and the legacy of residential schools. The commemoration is part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, which has supported regional and national activities that have honoured, trained, recalled and honoured former students of Indian Residential Schools (IRS), their families and communities. The settlement agreement also provided $60 million for the creation of a five-year Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which would give individuals, families and communities the opportunity to share their experiences. The Commission, established in 2008, was instructed to inform the public through national events (p.B Winnipeg in June 2010; Inuvik, NWT, June 2011; Halifax in October 2011; Saskatoon in June 2012) and its support for regional and local activities. It would also create a “complete historical record” of boarding schools (and, budget permitting, a research center).
As of August 2012, the federal government had provided the TRC with more than 941,000 documents related to residential schools. Did you know? Historica Canada created a map (see below) of all residential schools in Canada using data from the University of Manitoba`s National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. As part of a larger Historica Canada project called the Indian Residential Schools Awareness Program, the map includes location, name, religious denomination, opening and closing dates, and any other names the schools were known by. As of September 19, 2012, a total of 38,099 IAP applications had been received, more than three times the original estimate. The IRSAS expects to complete the IAP hearings by spring 2018 and the post-hearing work by 2019. As of May 31, 2017, 36,948 (97%) of the IEPs received had been resolved and 1,151 (3%) were still ongoing. 26,555 IAP hearings and negotiation agreements were conducted with total compensation of $3.126 billion, an amount that includes attorneys` fees and disbursements. The IRSSA explained that the fifty Catholic groups that ran the residential schools — the “Catholic institutions” — were required to pay $79 million for the abuse suffered by the survivors.