UBC Undergraduate Research

The Kamloops Residential School: Indigenous Perspectives and Revising Canada's History Foster, Jenna


The goal of this thesis project is to reveal a part of Canadian history that is not widely known to the general Canadian public, the history Canada‟s residential schools. The study examines the Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS). This thesis examines a variety of government, Oblate, testimonial records, and newspaper articles which each give a glimpse of the Canadian government‟s assimilative objective for residential schools and the effects it had on KIRS students. Both the Canadian government and Oblate school instructors believed that Indigenous cultures and languages were inferior to those of Euro-Canadians. Through a carefully designed school curriculum KIRS instructors aimed to modernize and assimilate Indigenous students by teaching manual skills and agriculture to male students, and by teaching female students home economic skills. Although the students gained skills to adapt to Euro-Canadian society at the KIRS, the process had negative effects on their languages, traditions, and communities. Only recently have scholars and government officials begun to address these acknowledged detrimental effects of residential schools.

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