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Teaching for Truth and Reconciliation

This guide is meant to assist you in implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action in the classroom.

Lesson Plans on Residential Schools

  • BC Teacher's Federation: The Gladys We Never Knew
    The Gladys We Never Knew is a lesson plan that follows the story of Gladys Chapman, a young girl that passed away while at Residential School. The link above will take you to the e-book, and you can find additional information here.

  • First Nations Education Steering Committee (BC)
    The First Nations Education Steering Committee in BC has put together teacher resource guides on the IRS and the path to reconciliation at three grade levels (grade 5, 10, 11/12), all of which contain activities and additional literature.

  • Manitoba Teacher's Society: Orange Shirt Day Lesson Plans
    Orange Shirt Day (September 30) started as an event to commemorate survivors of the St. Joseph Mission Residential School in BC, and has since spread nationally as a way to raise awareness of the IRS. These lesson plans introduce the IRS, and can be used year-round.

  • Secret Path Lesson Plans
    A selection of lesson plans produced by educators across Canada for Gord Downie's The Secret Path, a picture book about Chanie Wenjack, an Anishinaabe boy who passed away trying to escape residential school.

  • Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools
    Stolen Lives was produced by the Facing History and Ourselves Organization. It walks students and teachers through the establishment and ongoing legacy of the IRS. 

  • What Can I Contribute to Meaningful Reconciliation? [PDF]
    A teaching and learning resource produced by the Critical Thinking Consortium and the Grand Erie District School Board (BC). It consists of three lessons on the causes and consequences of the Residential School System. Intended to be used in Grade 6 classrooms.

Multimedia Resources on Residential Schools

  • Google Earth: Canada's Residential Schools
    A collaboration between Canadian Geographic and the National Centre of Truth and Reconciliation. Students are able to read about the history of residential schools while being taken to corresponding locations on Google Earth.

  • Thalit Sqwelqwel Stories of Truth
    Produced in BC, this website is meant to be a resource on Residential Schools. Contains videos and links to additional resources.


  • First Nations Child & Family Caring Society
    The First Nations Child & Family Caring Society recommends outside organization's teaching guides in addition to producing their own.
  • Legacy of Hope
    Legacy of Hope is an Indigenous-led charitable organization that aims to raise awareness of the history and ongoing effects of the IRS on First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples. In addition to creating and distributing educational resources, Legacy of Hope also has several traveling exhibitions with additional resources: Where Are The Children follows the First Nations experience, We Were So Far Away follows Inuit, and Forgotten focuses on Metis peoples.