Residential Schools: Photographs from the Archives
Access to Records

Individuals and communities can reach out directly to the Archives, via phone or email, to inquire about accessing records. Including information such as community affiliations, family names, school affiliations, years of interest, and geographic area of interest can help the Archives better answer requests. Once in contact with the Archives, archivists may follow-up with more questions to help narrow down the search or ensure that the request is understood. If possible, researchers are welcome to visit the archives to view records themselves. Most of the time, research is done by archivists while copies are provided in the response.

Indian Residential Schools

Indian Residential Schools - Photographs from The Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives

The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s involvement in the residential school system for aboriginal people spanned almost nine decades from the mid-1880’s until 1969.

In total, the church had been involved in 11 different schools. The majority of these, however, became the responsibility of the United Church of Canada in 1925. Only two – Birtle School in Manitoba and Cecilia Jeffrey School in Kenora, Ontario – remained the responsibility of The Presbyterian Church in Canada.

In 1994, the 120th General Assembly adopted “The Confession of The Presbyterian Church in Canada” asking for forgiveness from God and former students and pledging to “seek opportunities to walk with Aboriginal peoples to find healing and wholeness together”.

This exhibit displays over 100 archival pictures that capture and depict some aspects of the daily life and activities of the students at these schools. The images date primarily from the early 1930s to the late 1960s.

Captions have been kept to a minimum with the hope that this will allow each image to quietly share its story and touch each viewer directly.

Copyright held by The Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives, 2013

If you would like copies of any of the photographs in this exhibit, or if you know the names of any of the individuals in the photographs, please contact us at 1-800-619-7301 or by email at karnold [at] presbyterian [dot] ca


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