Residential Schools Documents

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.

A Brief History

The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s involvement in the residential school system for aboriginal people spanned almost nine decades from the mid-1880s until 1969 when the residential schools became the full responsibility of the Federal Government.

The following article written by Rev. Peter Bush and published in the May 2004 issue of “Presbyterian History” provides an informative introduction to the history of the residential school system with special focus on our Church’s involvement.

To read the article, just click on the button below. The article will open as a PDF document in a new window.

Boys on the Cecilia Jeffrey School Farm, c.1937 - g-4451-fc-13

Archival Records

In addition to photographs, The Presbyterian Church in Canada Archives also holds hundreds of files containing tens of thousands of documents relating to our Church’s administration and operation of both the Birtle Residential School and the Cecilia Jeffrey Residential School after 1925.

The Archives’ staff has created a comprehensive listing of all of these files. If you are interested in doing research into The Presbyterian Church in Canada’s involvement in the residential schools system, we encourage you to contact us, and we encourage you to browse through the Guide.

Birtle Residential School, old school, c. 1920's - g-377-mc

The Confession of The Presbyterian Church in Canada

In 1994, the 120th General Assembly of The Presbyterian Church in Canada adopted a document titled “The Confession of The Presbyterian Church in Canada”.

This confession was formally presented by Rev. George Vais, Moderator of the 12th General Assembly, at the Forks National Site in Winnipeg on October 8th, 1994. Phil Fontaine, Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs at the time, received the confession on behalf of First Nations people.

PCC confession

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

Historical Language Advisory

Certain parts of The Presbyterian Church in Canada archival holdings contain historical language and content that some may consider offensive. This may include language used to refer to racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. The descriptions and content of our collections are reflective of the time period when they were created and the view of their creator.

In order to preserve attitudes and views within the historical record, the original description of materials has been retained. As an ongoing process, the archivists may provide explanatory notes with background information of the descriptions.

If you see records with inappropriate language that you feel the archivists should review, please contact us.


Comments are closed.

error: Content is protected