Covering Canada with Exhibits on Residential Schools

Paul C. Thistle's picture

Dear colleages:

‘Industrial’ & ‘residential’ schools (IRS) for Indigenous children were colonialist projects operated by religious denominations & funded by governments in Canada & other countries around the world.


Recent news in Canada has sparked somewhat intense attention to the discovery of 215 unknown & unmarked graves of Indigenous children at one residential school in British Columbia, Canada. This is likely to be only the ‘tip of the iceberg’ according to ‘survivors’ of these schools & the head of Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission.


The ED of the Canadian Museums Association & the British Columbia Museums Association (2021) have responded to the above discovery with statements that anonymous buried children have a heritage to teach Canadians & museums now have the “responsibility” “to honestly and openly confront our nation’s violent colonial legacy.”


See the fully-documented 32-minute read in the 11 June 2021 post “Reconcili-ACTION Role for Museums ‘Carpet Bombing’ Canada with Residential School Exhibits for Citizens’ ‘Remedial Education’” on the Critical Museology Miscellanea blog at .


It challenges museum practitioners to employ artifacts like an electric chair that police testimony reports was in use at one remote ‘Indian Residential School’ between the mid-1950s & mid-1960s to inform Canadians of the true history of IRS & the ongoing inter-generational impact of these schools on survivors.


Thanks for thinking about this.


Respectfully yours


Paul C. Thistle


a white settler in southwestern Ontario, Canada that is located in the traditional territory of ‎the Attiwonderonk (Neutral), Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, and Haudenosaunee peoples ( ).  I am tremendously blessed to have been raised and retired here due to the generosity of Indigenous peoples who share their homelands with me without any terrorist-like responses to Canada's shameful history of colonisation. I believe that a reconcili-ACTION response from white settlers in this country remains pathetically long overdue.