Residential schools refer to a system of 139+ schools operated by the Canadian government and churches to assimilate Indigenous children. From 1863-1996, over 150,000 Indigenous children were forcibly separated from their families and placed in residential schools. Students were forbidden from acknowledging their heritage and culture, and speaking their own languages and were forced to assimilate. Many of these children were subjected to physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse at the hands of residential school staff.
Many survivors of residential schools continue to be deeply affected by the horrific experiences they were forced to endure. The Indian Residential Schools Survival Society strives to provide physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual growth, development, and healing through culturally-based values and guiding principles for Survivors, Families, and Communities.
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