The Indian Residential Schools and Reconciliation Teacher Resource Guides, developed by the First Nations Schools Association (FNSA) and the First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC), were inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendation that departments of education develop age-appropriate educational materials about residential schools for use in public education.

These unique, BC-specific, resources for grades 5, 10, 11 and 12 use age-appropriate literature, archival resources, and videos to increase students’ understanding of the historical context of residential schools and to develop students’ awareness about the reconciliation process as a way to move us all forward.

Importantly, these resources are not just for First Nations students, but are intended for students of all cultural backgrounds.

The instructional materials include a wealth of lesson plans, suggestions for student activities, reproducible blackline masters, videos and archival materials. The units and lessons support the BC Ministry of Education curriculum learning standards. In addition, due to the nature of the subject matter, the resources contain suggestions for how to deal sensitively with the topic of residential schools.

The development of these resource guides included input from an advisory committee of FNESC, FNSA, Ministry of Education, BC Teachers’ Federation representatives, as well as over 30 pilot schools. Hear stories from some of the pilot school participants below…

FNSA and FNESC would like to recognize the invaluable role that the Vancouver Foundation has played in its support of this project.

Grade Levels Overview

The grade 5 teacher resource guide is adaptable for students from grades 3 to 7, and uses children’s literature, enabling a cross-curricular approach with English Language Arts and Social Studies.

The grade 10 teacher resource guide is designed to help students attain an understanding of the history of the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people over Canada’s history using the TRC’s publication, “They Came for the Children” and a wealth of archival documents.

The grade 11/12 resource guide can be used in a variety of senior secondary courses. Students examine archival media coverage of First Nations education and residential schools from the early years of colonization in BC in 1876 to the contemporary era.

Pilot School Stories

A special thanks is due to all of those who took part in the pilot project, which included 35 First Nations schools and public schools, including the school districts of Cariboo-Chilcotin, Vancouver Island North and Surrey. We value your feedback, and all the time and patience you contributed to the project.