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Residential Schools

Residential schools have been a harmful part of Canada’s history and the wounds of its impact continue to be felt by Indigenous peoples across the country. Our archives contain information on residential schools across Canada and, more specifically, from institutions within Alberta.



We hold many useful books pertaining to the history of residential schools, how they came to be, what children were subjected to and the roles the Canadian government and the church had in operating these institutions. Among these books are the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's entire series on Canada's residential schools, as well as their final report. Many of these books contain information pertaining to residential schools Canada-wide and can be found under the library reference number 07.2 and some under 08.3.

Other documents that are more specific to nations in western Canada that may be of use are The curriculum of the Morley Indian Residential School, 1923-1958, A historical survey of education in early Blackfoot Indian culture and its implications for Indian schools, Metis outpost: memoirs of the first school master at the Metis settlement of Kelly Lake, B.C., 1923-1925 and Indian education in the North West. These books have more specific insights into residential schools in Alberta and the west and include the thoughts settler society had about Indigenous education. 


Our library contains hundreds of newspaper clippings pertaining to residential schools in our newsfile section. There are files for Siksika (Blackfoot), Kainai (Blood) and Îethka (Stoney Nakoda) residential schools, as well as a larger file which contains numerous articles about residential schools Canada-wide and what is being done about it in more recent years. 

A useful sound recording would be Tom Kaquitts’ interview where he talks about the influence of schooling and the church in Morley (now Mînî Thnî). A written interview with Louise Loyie from Slave Lake also sheds light on her own experiences with residential school. 


Missionaries would be another area to look in to find information pertaining to residential schools. There are many books that speak to the impact of missionaries in early Canada and their role within Indigenous communities across Canada. An example of this would be Western missions and missionaries: a series of letters... which includes mentions of the Îethka and Ktunaxa (Kootenay) Nations. The Rundle Memorial United Church fonds, Luxton Family fonds and David McDougall fonds are other sources of documentation pertaining to missionaries, the church and the orphanage in Mînî Thnî. 


The McDougall Orphanage in Mînî Thnî was an institution that played a similar role in assimilation as residential schools and therefore had similar consequences. There is a book on the facility The McDougall Orphanage at Morley, Alberta and archival documents on the topic that can be found through scrapbooks and photographs and in the fonds already listed elsewhere.

There are several sources of photographs in our archives featuring churches, the orphanage, the school, and the students that attended. If you are looking for photos from Mînî Thnî, try going through “Morley Past” which is available to view online.


To start you search in our database, try searching key words such as residential schools, missionary, orphanage or church.


Find out more information on residential schools in Alberta or any residential school across Canada, by clicking the links below to go to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. 

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