September 30, also known as Orange Shirt Day, is a day for education and honouring around 150,000 Indigenous children who were forcibly sent or taken to residential schools in Canada between the 1860s and 1990s, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia.
While many Canadians are aware that residential schools existed, the sheer number of schools and affected individuals may surprise you.
Children of the schools were subject to traumas including removing them from their families, cutting their hair, and forcing them to speak English.
Children were in Canadian residential schools.
Stories of sexual, physical, and mental abuse have come from the survivors of residential schools. Many of whom are now experiencing intergenerational trauma, PTSD, systemic violence and racism, and an overarching feeling of distrust towards authoritative figures, says the Public Health Reviews.
The Canadian Encyclopedia has an interactive map that pinpoints exactly where every documented residential school was in Canada.
In total, there were over 130 schools that existed in Canada between 1831 and 1996 with 80 schools operating within the borders of Canada in 1931.
When using the map, you can view all the schools and when clicked on, you can see the name, location, when it opened, when it closed, and what religion was practiced.
As we continue on the path of reconciliation and education, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, Steven Guilbeault, has introduced a bill at the House of Commons to make Orange Shirt Day a statutory holiday.