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Books About the Residential School System

Created by 49th Teachers
  • Age: 4 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 17-24 of 33 books

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Gaawin Gindaaswin Ndaawsii / I Am Not a Number

by Jenny Kay Dupuis; Kathy Kacer, illustrated by Gillian Newland, translated by Muriel Sawyer & Geraldine McLeod
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
  • age: 7 to 11
  • Grade: 3 to 6
tagged: native canadian, prejudice & racism, post-confederation (1867-), native american

The dual language edition, in Nishnaabemwin (Ojibwe) Nbisiing dialect and English, of the award-winning I Am Not a Number. When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the effort …

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kimotinâniwiw itwêwina / Stolen Words

by Melanie Florence, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard, translated by Dolores Sand & Gayle Weenie
edition: Paperback
also available: eBook
  • age: 6 to 9
  • Grade: 1 to 3
tagged: native canadian, native american, multigenerational, prejudice & racism

The dual language edition, in Plains Cree and English, of Stolen Words, the award-winning story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in Cree, he tells her that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfath …

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Phyllis's Orange Shirt

by Phyllis Webstad, summary by Brock Nicol, edited by Allison Parker
edition: Hardcover
  • age: 4 to 6
  • Grade: p to 1
tagged: native canadian

Phyllis's Orange Shirt is an adaptaion of The Orange Shirt Story which was the best selling children's book in Canada for several weeks in September 2018(Book manager). This true story also inspired the movement of Orange Shirt Day which could become a federal statuatory holiday. When Phyllis was a little girl she was excited to go to residential s …

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The Orange Shirt Story

The True Story of Orange Shirt Day

by Phyllis Webstad, illustrated by Jessika Von I, edited by Emma Bullen
edition: Paperback
  • age: 7 to 10
  • Grade: 2 to 5
tagged: native american

When Phyllis Webstad (nee Jack) turned six, she went to the residential school for the first time. On her first day at school, she wore a shiny orange shirt that her Granny had bought for her, but when she got to the school, it was taken away from her and never returned. This is the true story of Phyllis and her orange shirt. It is also the story o …

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Stolen Words

by Melanie Florence, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
edition: Hardcover
also available: eBook
  • age: 6 to 9
  • Grade: 1 to 3
tagged: native canadian, prejudice & racism, native american, multigenerational

The story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in his language – Cree – he admits that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This sensitive and warmly illustrated pic …

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When We Were Alone

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

When a young girl helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, she begins to notice things that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long, braided hair and beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a res …

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I Am Not a Number

by Jenny Kay Dupuis & Kathy Kacer, illustrated by Gillian Newland
edition: Hardcover
also available: eBook
  • age: 7 to 11
  • Grade: 3 to 6
tagged: native canadian, post-confederation (1867-), prejudice & racism, native american

When eight-year-old Irene is removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school she is confused, frightened, and terribly homesick. She tries to remember who she is and where she came from, despite the efforts of the nuns who are in charge at the school and who tell her that she is not to use her own name but instead use the numb …

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Righting Canada's Wrongs: Residential Schools

The Devastating Impact on Canada's Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Findings and Calls for Action

by Melanie Florence
edition: Hardcover
also available: eBook Hardcover
  • age: 13 to 18
  • Grade: 8 to 12
tagged: prejudice & racism, politics & government, canada, aboriginal & indigenous

Canada's residential school system for aboriginal young people is now recognized as a grievous historic wrong committed against First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples. This book documents this subject in a format that will give all young people access to this painful part of Canadian history.

In 1857, the Gradual Civilization Act was passed by the …