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Every Child Matters: Honouring the Missing Children

This library guide lists educational and scholarly resources related to the remembrance of the many children missing from Canada's residential schools

Sacred fire at UVic

           Photo credit: UVic Alumni Newsletter June 2021

Crisis line

Indian Residential School Crisis Line--Those affected by the Residential School system can seek support at the IRS Crisis Line, a national, 24-hour toll-free support service operated by trained crisis counselors. Phone: 1-866-925-4419

Kinship Rising mural at UVicLib

Created by the Kinship Rising Collective, the Fearless Sisters Rising mural honours the fearless, healing medicine of Indigenous bodies and land relations. Completed in 2018, Fearless Sisters Rising was collectively envisioned and painted over several months by a group of BIPOC young people, students and mentors. The design and project were conceptualized by lead artists Brianna Bear and Nicole Neidhardt. Visit UVic to view this remarkable piece--the mural is located in the main staircase of McPherson Library between the third and fourth floors. 


There are many organizations focusing on remembering and addressing the legacies of IRSs, here are a few to get started:

Books at UVic

Many excellent books can support your learning about truth, reconciliation, and decolonization--here are a few suggestions to get you started.  Not a UVic student?  No problem--get your very own Community Borrower card to UVic Libraries!

Articles at UVic

There are many excellent scholarly articles on the histories of residential schools.  Contact the Education Librarian for specific recommendations.  Here are some initial suggestions to get you started:

About this guide

There are many excellent resources on the history of residential schools Canada, those listed in this guide are a starting place. If you have questions about this guide, about library research on topics related to Indigenous studies, or if you have recommendations for additional resources to be added, please contact UVic's Education Librarian, Pia Russell.  HÍ,SW̱ḴE SI,IÁM

First Peoples' House at UVic

WELCOME FIGURES 2009 (Red Cedar)
by Doug Lafortune (Tsawout)

Learn more about Indigenous art on
campus by viewing the self-guided tour


The creators of this guide acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the university stands and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.  


Every Child Matters

This guide was originally developed in May 2021 in response to the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.  On May 27th, 2021 Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc released a heartfelt press release confirming that the remains of 215 children were found on the grounds of the former school using ground-penetrating radar.  Since the work at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, numerous other communities have begun the difficult work of investigating and locating the unmarked graves of other children who attended residential schools across Canada. To learn about the events since the discovery last May, read this timeline.

As of May 2022, unmarked graves have been found in relation to the following residential schools in British Columbia: St. Eugene Residential School: ʔaq̓am Press Release, Kuper Island Residential School: Penelakut Tribe Announcement, St. Joseph's Mission Residential School: Williams Lake First Nation

To learn more about the Kamloops Indian Residential School (IRS), the history of residential schools in Canada, and how you can start embracing truth and reconciliation within yourself, you may find the resources below helpful.  

For more in-depth resource lists, click on the 'Focused Topics' tab to the left or check out our Indigenous Studies library guide.  For further information about campus-wide initiatives regarding this topic, please also consult UVic's 215 website

The design above was created by UVic's Audain Professor of Contemporary Art Practice of the Pacific Northwest, Carey Hayalthkin'geme Newman : "This design was made to honour the children who died in residential school. The hearts express love for all those in unmarked graves and compassion for the families and communities who waited for them to be found. The small and colourful hands remind us of the uniqueness and beauty of every child. Taken together, they represent our commitment to listen to our hearts and use our hands, to do the work that needs to be done. The visceral confirmation of Survivor accounts that has come from locating these graves has affected many of us on an emotional level. It has changed the way that many people think and feel about our histories and current realities in Canada."

The Kamloops IRS and other residential schools on Vancouver Island

Non-governmental and governmental reports on the IRS system

Every Child Matters and Orange Shirt Day

Learn more about The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation's (NCTR) Every Child Matters 2020 Initiative.  Relatedly, you can learn more about Orange Shirt Day and Phyllis Webstad's story.  UVic Libraries' has Webstad's book in English, French, and Shuswap.

Video collections

There are many video collections on topics related to residential schools and the history of colonization in Canada.  To get started, below are a few examples of frequently referred to video series.

Short videos about the history residential schools in Canada

UVic Libraries has an entire library guide on the history of residential schools in Canada, check it out here.  Below are a few short videos to view if you are just starting to learn about this history. 

Web resources to learn more

There are countless websites available regionally, provincially, nationally, and internationally that can support your continued learning about residential schools in Canada as well as important related topics such as decolonization, truth, reconciliation, and Indigenous resurgence.  Here are a few to get you started:

Learn more through these open and free online courses

Some remarkable online courses have been developed to support self-directed learning for topics such as truth, reconciliation, decolonization, and Indigenous resurgence.  Below are a small sampling to get you started, there are many, many more.

Short videos to learn about the lands where UVic is located

Pope's Apology

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This work by The University of Victoria Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless otherwise indicated when material has been used from other sources.