Residential schools in Canada: A National Historic Event
September 1, 2020, the Government of Canada designated the Residential School System as a national historic event. The Government of Canada is acknowledging the past and, with Indigenous peoples and communities, is committed to sharing the experiences of Indigenous children in these schools to ensure that this history is never forgotten. Find out how to nominate a site, person, or event of significance to the history of the residential school system in Canada.
The Residential School System has had negative effects on generations of Indigenous peoples, with enduring impacts on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, cultures, economies, traditional knowledge and ways of life, languages, family structures, and connections to the land. Through the National Program of Historical Commemoration, the Residential School System in Canada has been designated as an event of national historic significance.
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation nominated the Residential School System for consideration and its designation reflects the input of Survivors from across the country.
There are many aspects to the legacies of residential schools in Canada. You can nominate eligible sites, persons or events relating to the many aspects of the history of residential schools through a public nomination process.
Any aspect of human history in Canada may be considered by the Minister responsible for Parks Canada if it has had a nationally significant impact on, or illustrates a nationally important aspect of, Canadian history.
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Parks Canada and Call to Action 79
Call to Action 79 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission asks for the commemoration "of residential school sites, the history and legacy of residential schools, and the contributions of Indigenous peoples to Canada’s history." Commemoration is not celebration — it is recognition.
Parks Canada is committed to ensuring that the history and voices of Indigenous peoples are expressed in ways that are meaningful and respectful to Indigenous communities.
Parks Canada’s Framework for History and Commemoration: National Historic Sites System Plan 2019 supports greater inclusion of Indigenous peoples’ history, voices and perspectives in Canadian history. It outlines an approach to sharing the stories of Canada’s history through diverse, wide-ranging, and sometimes complex perspectives, including difficult periods of the country’s past.