Legacy of Residential Schools

The residential school system has had a huge impact on the North and all of Canada. For decades, these schools cut Indigenous children off from their families, language, culture, and traditions in an attempt to strip their identity from them. Although some students had good experiences in these schools, many more suffered neglect and abuse, and many died. Those who suffered carry the effects of this trauma throughout their lives. It is imperative for NWT educators to understand the impact this had and still has on students, their parents and entire communities.

The work of Education Renewal in this area focuses on making sure that all teachers in the NWT learn about residential schools and their impact. All teachers in the NWT have and will continue to participate in awareness in-servicing. It ensures that everyone who participates in these sessions has the supports they need. Since new teachers come north every year, and because this awareness training is useful for a variety of people, other delivery options are being considered. Educators who teach Northern Studies in NWT schools receive a different, more detailed in-service, as they are tasked with supporting Grade 10 students in learning about the history and legacy of residential schools. Education Renewal has also provided training for all Yellowknife employees of the Department of Education, Culture and Employment, with training for regional staff upcoming. Representatives of other GNWT departments, the federal government, and the City of Yellowknife have also participated in these sessions and are being assisted to provide in-servicing for their employees.