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Books About the Residential School System

Created by 49th Teachers
  • Age: 3 to 18
  • Grade: p to 12
tagged: Social Justice, Diversity & Inclusion, Indigenous
Listen and learn about the history and ongoing impact of Residential Schools with this selection of books suitable for K–12.

Showing 1-8 of 33 books

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Aggie and Mudgy

The Journey of Two Kaska Dena Children

by Wendy Proverbs
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
  • age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
tagged: native canadian, prejudice & racism, physical & emotional abuse

Based on the true story of the author’s biological mother and aunt, this middle-grade novel traces the long and frightening journey of two Kaska Dena sisters as they are taken from their home to attend residential school.

When Maddy discovers an old photograph of two little girls in her grandmother’s belongings, she wants to know who they are. …

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Spílexm

A Weaving of Recovery, Resilience, and Resurgence

by Nicola I. Campbell
edition: Hardcover
also available: eBook
  • age: 18
  • Grade: 12
tagged: native americans, women, literary, personal memoirs

If the hurt and grief we carry is a woven blanket, it is time to weave ourselves anew.

In the Nle?kepmxcín language, spíl?x?m are remembered stories, often shared over tea in the quiet hours between Elders. Rooted within the British Columbia landscape, and with an almost tactile representation of being on the land and water, Spíl?x?m explores res …

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White Raven

by Teoni Spathelfer, illustrated by Natassia Davies
edition: Hardcover
also available: eBook
  • age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: p to 3
tagged: native canadian, prejudice & racism, multigenerational

Little Wolf, grown up with children of her own, moves to the country where her mother, White Raven, shares a sad story from her childhood.

All grown up with a family of her own, Little Wolf moves from the big city to the island of her ancestors. She wants to share the beauty and mysteries of nature with her children, and she wants them to learn as m …

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Sugar Falls

A Residential School Story

by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson & Donovan Yaciuk, foreword by Murray Sinclair, afterword by Betty Ross
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
  • age: 15 to 18
  • Grade: 9 to 12
tagged: aboriginal & indigenous, prejudice & racism, historical, canada, own voices

Inspired by true events, this story of strength, family, and culture shares the awe-inspiring resilience of Elder Betty Ross.

Abandoned as a young child, Betsy is adopted into a loving family. A few short years later, at the age of 8, everything changes. Betsy is taken away to a residential school. There she is forced to endure abuse and indignity, …

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Ispík kákí péyakoyak/When We Were Alone

by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett, translated by Alderick Leask
edition: Hardcover
also available: eBook
  • age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: k to 2
tagged: native canadian, prejudice & racism, values & virtues, multigenerational, post-confederation (1867-)

A young girl notices things about her grandmother that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak Cree and spend so much time with her family? As she asks questions, her grandmother shares her experiences in a residential school, when all of these things were taken away.

W …

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Making a Whole Person (Inuktitut)

by Monica Ittusardjuat, illustrated by Yong Ling Kang
edition: Hardcover
also available: Hardcover Hardcover
tagged: cultural heritage

“Before schools were introduced to the Inuit, we were taught by our relatives.”

In this picture book, Monica Ittusardjuat shares how she learned knowledge and skills in a time before being taken to residential school. She describes how children learned through playing games, imitating grown-ups, and observing adults around them.

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Orange Shirt Day

by Orange Shirt Society, edited by Phyllis Webstad & Joan Sorley
edition: Hardcover
tagged: aboriginal & indigenous

Orange Shirt Day is observed annually on September 30th to honour residential school survivors and their families, and to remember those who did not make it. This book explores the historical impact on Indigenous people in order to create champions who will walk a path of reconciliation through Orange Shirt Day, promoting the message that Every Chi …

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Making a Whole Person (English)

Traditional Inuit Education

by Monica Ittusardjuat, illustrated by Yong Ling Kang
edition: Hardcover
  • age: 7 to 9
  • Grade: 2 to 4
tagged: native canadian, cultural heritage, polar regions

“Before schools were introduced to the Inuit, we were taught by our relatives.”

In this picture book, Monica Ittusardjuat shares how she learned knowledge and skills in a time before being taken to residential school. She describes how children learned through playing games, imitating grown-ups, and observing adults around them.