AANDC’s “Recognized Institutions”

Applications and decisions

We have seen that Canada issued periodic updates of its decisions regarding applications to add institutions to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) under Article 12. The last available update (March 28, 2013) concerns applications and Canada’s decisions regarding 1,502 institutions, which we analyze.

Recognized institutions

Canada also issued periodic updates of “Recognized Institutions” (maps and lists) to reflect the addition of successful applications under Article 12. We recovered three updates from Internet Archive captures of the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) website:1We’re uncertain when the AANDC first published each of the three lists in Table 1. Our earliest capture of each list [column 2] was accompanied by a lo-rez map [column 1]; we located hi-rez versions of each of these maps elsewhere [column 3].

Table 1. Canada’s maps and lists of “recognized institutions” under Article 12.
IRSSA Map Earliest Capture of
Related IRSSA List
Hi-Rez
IRSSA Map
May 2009 October 13, 2011 May 2009
May 2012 April 19, 2013 May 2012
Sept 2012 June 2, 2013 Sept 2012

By Canada’s final account, a total of 140 Indian Residential Schools were covered under the IRSSA:

  • 130 Indian Residential Schools included in the original IRSSA
  • 7 institutions that Canada agreed to add to the IRSSA
  • 3 institutions that courts ordered Canada to add to the IRSSA

Discrepancies and inconsistencies

One can spend a lot of time trying to resolve the discrepancies and inconsistencies in Canada’s accounts of Indian Residential Schools. Let’s consider two examples.

First, it’s indisputable that ten institutions were added to the IRSSA under Article 12:

Institution Province/Territory Start Date End Date
St. Paul’s Hostel Yukon September 1, 1920 June 30, 1943
Anahim Lake Dormitory British Columbia September 1, 1968 June 30, 1977
Cote Improved Federal Day School Saskatchewan September 1, 1928 June 30, 1940
Battleford Industrial School Saskatchewan December 1, 1883 May 31, 1914
Fort George Hostels Quebec September 1, 1975 June 30, 1978
Wawanosh Home Ontario January 1, 1879 August 5, 1892
Stirland Lake High School (Wahbon Bay Academy) Ontario September 1, 1971 June 30, 1991
Cristal Lake High School Ontario September 1, 1976 June 30, 1986
Mistassini Hostels Quebec September 1, 1971 June 30, 1978
Kivalliq Hall Nunavut June 12, 1985 December 31, 1997

However, Canada’s claim to have agreed to recognize seven of these instititutions as Indian Residential Schools is disputable, as Superior Courts had to order Canada to add four institutions to the IRSSA: Cristal Lake and Stirland Lake, Ontario (2011); Mistassini Hostels, Quebec (2012); and Kivalliq Hall, Nunavut (2018).2National Administration Committee, Report to the supervising courts, May 6, 2019, pp. 101-102.

Second, Canada has created a lot of uncertainty about the identities – and even the number – of Indian Residential Schools, beginning with the original IRSSA. In all three recovered updates of “Recognized Institutions”, Canada refers to “the original 130 Indian Residential Schools included in the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.” By our reckoning, however, the original IRSSA covered 131 Indian Residential Schools. Even Canada’s own maps and lists of “Recognized Institutions” don’t support its reference to “the original 130 Indian Residential Schools.”

Canada’s May 2009 map identifies 138 Indian Residential Schools, including three institutions (Anahim Lake Dormitory, British Columbia; Cote, Saskatchewan; and St. Paul’s Hostel, Yukon) that were added under Article 12. In other words, Canada’s May 2009 map identifies 135 Indian Residential Schools supposedly covered by the original IRSSA.

Comparing Canada’s map of 135 institutions with our list of 131 institutions covered by the original IRSSA, we find six discrepancies:3We didn’t count Canada’s assignment of two institutions to different provinces or territories in May 2009: Port Pelly (from Manitoba to Saskatchewan) and Coppermine (from Northwest Territories to Nunavut).

  • Commissions
    1. Red Deer, Alberta
    2. Sarcee, Alberta
    3. St. Barnabas, Saskatchewan
    4. Norway House, Manitoba
    5. Wikwemikong, Ontario
  • Omissions
    1. Onion Lake Anglican, Saskatchewan

One discrepancy (No. 4) is due to Canada’s unacknowledged addition of a second Indian Residential School at Norway House, Manitoba.4One school was operated by the Catholic Church, the other by the United Church.

Another discrepancy (No. 1) relates to Canada’s inconsistent handling of institutions that preceded or succeeded one another. The original IRSSA identified five pairs, comprising ten institutions, whose members were predecessors/successors of one another.5Red Deer Industrial —> Edmonton; McDougall Orphanage —> Morley; Sturgeon Landing —> Guy; Dauphin —> McKay; and Coudert Hall —> Yukon Hall. The predecessors (Red Deer Industrial and McDougall Orphanage) in two of these pairs were not listed as Indian Residential Schools in the original IRSSA. Canada’s maps and lists of “Recognized Institutions” continued to omit the McDougall Orphanage,6The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada lists McDougall Orphanage as a residential school that was identified in Annual Reports of Indian Affairs, but not included in the original IRSSA. Volume 4: Missing children and unmarked burials, Appendix 1.2, p. 150. but unexpectedly added Red Deer to the IRSSA.7In another twist, Canada included Yukon Hall in its maps, but not its lists, of “Recognized Institutions”.

Two discrepancies (Nos. 3 and 6) relate to Canada’s inconsistent handling of institutions that were connected to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. The original IRSSA listed Prince Albert as an Indian Residential School and connected Prince Albert with four alternative names/associated institutions. Two of these (Lac La Ronge and Onion Lake) were also listed as Indian Residential Schools in the original IRSSA; the other two (St. Alban’s and St. Barnabas) were not. While Canada’s maps and lists of “Recognized Institutions” continued to identify Prince Albert and Lac La Ronge as Indian Residential Schools, they unexpectedly omitted Onion Lake. While Canada’s maps and lists also continued to omit St. Alban’s from the list of Indian Residential Schools, they unexpectedly added St. Barnabas to the IRSSA.

Finally, two discrepancies (Nos. 2 and 5) seem inexplicable. There is no listing – or even mention – of Sarcee, Alberta or Wikwemikong, Ontario in the original IRSSA. Yet Canada’s maps and lists of “Recognized Institutions” all identify Sarcee as an Indian Residential School. and accompanying list of Indian Residential Schools add Sarcee to the IRSSA. in May 2009 (and later). Wikwemikong also appeared in Canada’s map and accompying list of Indian Residential Schools in May 2009, but disappeared from Canada’s later maps and lists of Indian Residential Schools.8The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada lists Wikwemikong as a residential school that was identified in Annual Reports of Indian Affairs, but not included in the original IRSSA. Volume 4: Missing children and unmarked burials, Appendix 1.2, p. 150.

Final tally?

By our reckoning, Canada identified (at some point, at least) a total of 146 institutions as Indian Residential Schools under the IRSSA:

  • The original IRSSA listed 131 Indian Residential Schools
  • Canada agreed to add 6 institutions under Article 12
  • Courts ordered Canada to add 4 institutions under Article 12
  • Canada added 5 institutions to one or more of its updated maps and lists of “Recognized Institutions”:
    1. Red Deer, Alberta
    2. Sarcee, Alberta
    3. St. Barnabas, Saskatchewan
    4. Norway House, Manitoba
    5. Wikwemikong, Ontario

We are publishing these 146 Indian Residential Schools, as they appeared in the original IRSSA and the AANDC’s updates of “Recognized Institutions”, as a machine-readable, Tab-Separated-Value file.

Credits

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. If you use this work, please credit Paul Allen, paul@hartallen.com.