Baptist Mission School

Baptist Indian Residential School (Yukon Indian Residential School) 1900-1968

What were Residential Schools? Description From Government of Canada website

For more than 100 years, Aboriginal children in Canada were sent to special schools, called Indian Residential Schools. These schools were built and run by the Government of Canada and the Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, United and Presbyterian churches. Over 150,000 First Nation, Métis and Inuit children attended these schools between 1857 and 1996.

Life at residential school was hard for many children. Students were forced to speak English or French, and were punished if they spoke their own native languages. Often these children were taken from their families and placed in schools far away from their communities, sometimes for many years at a time. Many children were not given enough clothing or food. A lot of the schools were crowded and dirty. Some children died of disease. Others tried to run away.

Indian Residential Schools tried to make Aboriginal children talk, dress, think and act like non-Aboriginal Canadians. At the time, the government and churches believed that this was the right thing to do. Today, we know it was not.

The last Indian Residential School was closed in 1996. On June 11, 2008, the Prime Minister of Canada apologized to all Aboriginal children who were sent to these schools for the many bad things that happened to many of them. Several of the churches that were a part of this system have also said they are sorry. Many former students have shared stories of their time at Indian Residential Schools to help all Canadians understand what happened and to help themselves heal and forgive.


What's Up yukon Cover July 22- August 11

Photo: Devon Berquist