The Signs of Your Identity educational curriculum is supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. For interactive lesson plans, please visit their Lesson Builder.

From the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Final Report:

"Much of the current state of troubled relations between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians is attributable to educational institutions and what they have taught, or failed to teach, over many generations. Despite this history—or, perhaps more correctly, because of its potential—the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) believes that education is also the key to reconciliation. Educating Canadians for reconciliation involves not only schools and post-secondary institutions but also dialogue forums and public history institutions such as museums and archives. Education must remedy the gaps in historical knowledge that perpetuate ignorance and racism."

Other Resources:


Canada — Rhymes for Young Ghouls  [Amazon]  [iTunes]
Canada — We Were Children  [National Film Board of Canada]
USA — The Thick Dark Fog  [Website]
USA — Our Spirits Don't Speak English  [Website]  [Amazon]
Australia — Bungalow Song [Video]


Canada — Residential Schools: The Stolen Years  [Amazon]
USA — Boarding School Seasons, Brenda Child  [Amazon]
USA — Children Left Behind, Tim Giago  [Amazon]
USA — They Called Me Uncivilized  [Amazon]


Canada — Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report
Canada — The Indian Act (1876)
USA — The Indian Removal Act (1830)
USA — Indian Civil Rights Act (1968)
USA — Senate Report: Indian Education A National Tragedy (1969) 
USA — Administrative Records Related to American Indian School


Canada — University of Alberta Libraries Teaching Resources
Canada — TRC Reading List
Canada — Residential Schools Photographic Collection
Canada — Map of Residential Schools
Canada — Truth and Reconciliation: What Is It About?
Canada — KAIROS Blanket Exercise
Canada — MOOC on Reconciliation through Indigenous Education
USA — Photos from Indian Boarding Schools [ 1 ]  [ 2


Witness Blanket
The Blanket Exercise


Canada — Aboriginal Healing Foundation
USA — National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition


Mangilaluk's Highway
Granta  |  November 2017

Suicide and Trauma May Be Woven in DNA for Native Americans 
Huffington Post  |  June 2016

The Canadian First Nation Suicide Epidemic Has Been Generations in the Making
The Guardian  |  April 2016

The Other Residential School Runaways
Maclean's  |  October 2016

American Indian Boarding Schools Haunt Many
NPR  |  May 2008

Lesson Plans

School and Identity: Using Multimedia to Examine the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools
Students will examine the impact of Indian Residential Schools run by the Canadian government by reviewing interviews and photography. Through project-based learning, discussion and reading, students will evaluate how an author emphasizes details using different multimedia and explore the impact of a school environment on personal identify.

Images and Identity: Analyzing Photographs as Primary Sources
Students will explore photographs of Canadian residential schools, composite portraits, and interview excerpts of First Nations residential school survivors. They will analyze the images to learn more about the legacy of the schools and the impact of government policy on indigenous peoples.

Reporting on Cultural Genocide and the Legacy of Indian Residential Schools
Students will discuss culture, identity and the lasting impact of government-mandated residential schools for indigenous children in the U.S. and Canada. They will use evidence from photos and interviews to reflect on the impact that the residential schools have had on the lives and cultural identities of native communities through writing, discussion and interactive projects.

Archival Photos

Additional Interviews