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Indian Residential School System in Canada

Selected Resource

"It can start with a knock on the door one morning. It is the local Indian agent, or the parish priest, or, perhaps, a Mounted Police officer."

A Knock on the Door, published in collaboration with the National Research Centre for Truth & Reconciliation, gathers material from TRC reports to present the essential history and legacy of residential schools in a concise and accessible package. Survivor and former National Chief of the Assembly First Nations, Phil Fontaine, provides a Foreword. An Afterword introduces the holdings and opportunities of the National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission Findings

The Final Report

Canada’s Residential Schools: The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada was released December 15, 2015. It is divided into six volumes that encapsulate the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

  • Vol 1: The History Part 1: Origins to 1939 and Part 2: 1939-2000 
  • Vol 2: The Inuit and Northern Experience 
  • Vol 3: The Métis Experience 
  • Vol 4: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials 
  • Vol 5: The Legacy 
  • Vol 6: Reconciliation 

Find the Final Report in the following locations:

Additional Reports

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission also released the following reports, all of which can be found at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in PDF format.

  • Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future: Summary of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada
  • What We Have Learned: Principles of Truth and Reconciliation
  • The Survivors Speak: A Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action

Truth and Reconciliation Organizations and Initiatives

Truth and Reconciliation Events

TRC National events took place across Canada from 2010-2015. The NCTRC has digitized these resources from these events that can be found here. Records are organized into five series: national events, mini-docs, National Research Centre Forum, hearings, and regional events. These sub-series are further divided into additional sub-series. PDFs of some of the national event programs can be found below:

British Columbia:




Government of Canada

Postsecondary Education