Content Warning: This post covers some of the atrocities committed by Indian Residential Schools.

That year, thousands of children’s graves were discovered in former residential schools in Canada. In response, Book Riot is donating up to $ 2,500 to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. Scroll to the bottom of the post to learn how to participate or read on for more information.

In May 2021, ground penetrating radar revealed a mass grave of 215 children in the former boarding school in Kamloops. Since then, thousands more child graves have been found on former boarding schools in Canada, and an investigation into the burial sites of US boarding schools has begun.

Canada has had residential schools for a century since the late 19th century, with the last officially closed in 1996. Five generations of children have been torn from their families and their cultures, and that genocide only recently ended, with generations of survivors alive today. It is estimated that between 30 and 60% of children died within five years of attending boarding schools, and physical, sexual, and psychological abuse were common, as were poor diet and living conditions, and even torture and science experimentation.

In Reading Color Newsletter

A weekly newsletter focusing on literature by and about People of Color! Start on September 7, 2021.

Thanks for signing up! Keep an eye on your inbox.

By registering, you agree to our terms of use

A presentation on the history and impact of Indian residential schools by The Indian Residential School Survivors Society

It was a genocide designed to eradicate indigenous identities and cultures, just one of many genocidal tactics used by the Canadian government. Indigenous communities today struggle with intergenerational trauma as they demonstrate incredible resilience and healing, and pass on cultural and spiritual practices. Even suppressed indigenous languages, once restricted to a handful of speakers, are experiencing a revival.

To better understand the impact residential schools have on generations of indigenous communities, please watch this video of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society’s Sacred Fire exercise.

The Indian Residential School Survivors Society is an organization that has supported survivors for two decades and operates from Kamloops (among others), where the first mass grave was found.

For about twenty years the Indian Residential School Survivors Society has been working in silence and doing the work necessary for the cultural, mental and physical well-being not only of former students of a residential school, but of the large number of those who are intergenerationally impaired. We have slowly transitioned and expanded the services we offer and have several new and existing programs such as:

– Missing murdered indigenous women and girls and missing murdered indigenous men and boys
– 1960s survivors
– Qwum Qwum Xxii Xxaa (Youth Justice Program)
– the 24-hour crisis line

and more.

You can find out more about them on their website. You are also on Twitter and Facebook.

Starting tomorrow, Friday, August 27th through Monday, August 30th, Book Riot will match donations of up to $ 2,500 to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.

To participate, upload a picture of your donation receipt in the form below. (You can black out personal information.) Check back next week and we’ll upload our donation receipt to show how much we’ve raised together!

We also invite you to find out not only about boarding schools and Native American boarding schools, but also about the indigenous nations in your area, especially if you live on occupied land. There are organizations out there that are doing a great job across the continent and around the world that could use your support in fighting the ongoing effects of colonialism.