Key Facts About Residential SchoolsPublished:
by Kiri Vadivelu | 2 min. read religion
Residential schools were created by Christian churches and the Canadian government to both educate and convert Indigenous youth and to assimilate them into Canadian society
Residential schools were government-sponsored religious schools that were established to assimilate Indigenous children into Euro-Canadian culture. Although the first residential facilities were established in New France, the term usually refers to schools established after 1880. Residential schools were created by Christian churches and the Canadian government as an attempt to both educate and convert Indigenous youth and to assimilate them into Canadian society. However, the schools disrupted lives and communities, causing long-term problems among Indigenous peoples. The last residential school closed in 1996. An excerpt from The Canadian Encyclopedia.
What were residential schools? Residential schools were government-sponsored schools run by churches.
What was the purpose of residential schools? The purpose of residential schools was to educate and convert Indigenous youth and to assimilate them into Canadian society.
How many students attended residential schools? An estimated 150,000 children attended residential schools.
How many children died at residential schools? An estimated 6,000 children died at residential schools (records are incomplete).
How many residential schools were there in Canada? In total, over 130 residential schools operated in Canada between 1831 and 1996.
In 1931, there were 80 residential schools operating in Canada. This was the most at any one time.
When did the first residential school in Canada open? The Mohawk Institute in Brantford, Ontario, accepted its first boarding students in 1831.
When did the last residential school in Canada close? The Gordon Residential School in Punnichy, Saskatchewan, closed in 1996. It was the last federally-funded residential school in Canada. [Learn More](https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/residential-schools