Matching Canada’s lists to OIRS

What’s here

Background

Our initial dataset of Oblates’ Indian Residential Schools (oirs_2022-12-17-1) contains basic identifying information derived mainly from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).1Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015), Final Report, Volume 4: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials, Appendix 1.1 Residential schools and residences included in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, pp. 141-149. We want to anchor and enrich this dataset with information obtained from other authoratative sources, beginning with the Canadian government’s initial (2007) and final (2015) lists of Indian Residential Schools that it recognized under the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA).

Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement

The TRC noted that “The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) provides the most comprehensive listing of Canadian residential schools for Aboriginal people.”2Ibid, p. 139.

The IRSSA defined “Indian Residential Schools” as:

  1. Institutions attached as Schedule E (Residential Schools);
  2. Institutions listed in Schedule F (Additional Residential
    Schools) which may be expanded from time to time in
    accordance with Article 12.01 of this Agreement; and,
  3. Any institution which is determined to meet the criteria set out
    in Section 12.01(2) and (3) of this Agreement. (s. 1.01).

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Canada’s initial list of Indian Residential Schools (2007)

The IRSSA’s Schedule E listed institutions that had been identified as Indian Residential Schools during Alternative Dispute Resolution (2002-2006). Schedule F listed institutions that were added in negotiations leading up to final approval of the IRSSA (2006-2007). Article 12 permitted anyone to apply for other institutions to be recognized as an Indian Residential School.

Schedule E listed 107 Indian Residential Schools on separate lines of a four page document. The Indian Residential Schools were arranged alphabetically, by their preferred names, within ten geographic regions. In many cases, an Indian Residential School’s primary name was followed by alternative name(s) in parentheses. Sometimes the significance of these other names was clear (e. g. “School X replaced School Y” or “School Y replaced by School X”); more often, their meaning was ambiguous. Schedule F listed another 24 Indian Residential Schools on separate lines of a one page document.

The TRC noted that “The IRSSA list of approved schools has a number of limits. … All these issues combine to complicate any attempt to list the schools on the Settlement Agreement with their opening and closing dates, location, and religious affiliation.”3Ibid, pp. 139, 140.

Comparing oirs_2022-12-17-1 with entries Schedules E and F, we found that the latter had no entries for two Indian Residential Schools:

  1. Anahim Lake IRS, Anahim, British Columbia (IRS_ID = 29) – which had been added to the list of Indian Residential Schools under Section 12.
  2. Notre Dame Hostel IRS, Cross Lake, Manitoba (IRS_ID = 49) – which we included in oirs_2022-12-17-1 after amending the TRC’s original list of Indian Residential Schools.

(Note: Schedule F mistakenly places Fort Pelly IRS in Manitoba).

We are publishing the IRSSA’s initial list of Indian Residential Schools as an Open Spreadsheet Document (ODS) with the following data fields:

Table 1. Data fields in the IRSSA’s initial list of Indian Residential Schools (2007).
Field Description
IRS_ID Identifer for Indian Residential School from oirs_2022-12-17-1.
SCHED-E-F_SOURCE IRSSA-Schedule-E_Residential-Schools or IRSSA-Schedule-F_Residential-Schools
SCHED-E-F_SOURCE_URL https://www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca/Schedule_E-ResidentialSchools.PDF#page=n or https://www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca/Schedule_F-AdditionalResidentialSchools.PDF
SCHED-E-F_PROVINCE_TERRITORY Jurisdiction
SCHED-E-F_IRS_NAME Primary name assigned to the institution
SCHED-E-F_AKA-01 … SCHED-E-F__AKA-05 Alias(es) assigned to the institution
SCHED-E-F_NOTE A note that usually clarifies predecessor/successor relation between two institutions
SCHED-E-F_MY-COMMENT My comment re: Oblates’ Indian Residential School that was not included in the IRSSA.

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Canada’s final list of Indian Residential Schools (2015)

On July 27, 2015, the Supreme Court of British Columbia ordered that no further applications under the IRSSA’s Section 12 were permitted. Around this time, two versions of the final list of Indian Residential Schools that were included in the IRSSA (excepting Kivalliq Hall IRS which was recognized much later) were published on the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) website and the IRSSA Official Court Notice (OCN) website.4While the OCN website is still live, the AANDC’s website is not – and we have had to rely on the Wayback Machine’s captures for our information. The AANDC web page entitled “Recognized Indian Residential Schools” included both a list and a map of “the original 130 Indian Residential Schools included in the 2007 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement as well as the seven institutions which were added through Article 12 by Canada and the two schools which were added by the courts, bringing the total number of recognized schools to 139.” With the Canadian government’s re-organization of the AANDC, the link to this page had been broken by December 12, 2020. The Wayback Machine last captured this webpage – which apparently had last been modified on May 25, 2015 – on  November 15, 2020.

Comparing oirs_2022-12-17-1 with these two versions of the Canadian government’s final list of Indian Residential Schools, we found matches for all Indian Residential Schools.5There were minor discrepancies re: two separate Indian Residential Schools at Cross Lake, Manitoba – Cross Lake/St. Joseph’s/Norway House/Jack River Hostel (IRS_ID = 48) and Notre Dame Hostel (IRS_ID = 49). The AANDC web page lists two separate Indian Residential Schools at Cross Lake, but calls them “Cross Lake” and “Norway House”. The ONC web page lists two separate Indian Residential Schools at Cross Lake, including one for “Notre Dame Hostel” and another for Cross Lake/St. Joseph’s/Jack River Annex/Notre Dame Hostel.[/mfn]

We are publishing the AANDC’s version of the final list of Indian Residential Schools that were covered by the IRSSA as an Open Spreadsheet Document (ODS) with the following data fields:

Table 2. Data fields in the AANDC’s version of the final list of Indian Residential Schools that were covered by the IRSSA (2015).
Field Description
IRS_ID Identifer for Indian Residential School from oirs_2022-12-17-1.
AANDC_SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Recognized Indian Residential Schools, May 25, 2015.
AANDC_SOURCE_URL https://web.archive.org/web/20201115225944/https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100015606/1100100015611
AANDC_IRS_NAME Primary name assigned to the institution.
AANDC_PROVINCE_TERRITORY Jurisdiction.
AANDC_AFFILIATION Religious affiliation.
AANDC_COMMENT AANDC comment.

We are publishing the OCN’s version of the final list of Indian Residential Schools that were covered by the IRSSA as an Open Spreadsheet Document (ODS) with the following data fields:

Table 3. Data fields in the OCN’s version of the final list of Indian Residential Schools that were covered by the IRSSA (2015).
Field Description
IRS_ID Identifer for Indian Residential School from oirs_2022-12-17-1.
OCN_SOURCE Official Court Notice, List of residential schools, c. July 27, 2015.
OCN_SOURCE_URL https://www.residentialschoolsettlement.ca/schools.html
OCN_IRS_NAME Primary name assigned to the institution.
OCN_IRS_AKA Alias(es) assigned to the institution.
OCN_LOCATION Location (city, province/territory).
OCN_COMMENT OCN comment.

Recap

We have published four datasets related to 62 Indian Residential Schools that were managed by the Oblates:

  • oirs_2022-12-17-1: our initial dataset of basic identifying information that was derived mainly from the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015).
  • oirs_sched-e-f_2007: Canada’s initial list of Indian Residential Schools that were covered by the IRSSA (2007).
  • oirs_aandc_2015: the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s version of Canada’s final list of Indian Residential Schools covered by the IRSSA (2015).
  • oirs_ocn_2015: the Official Court Notice’s version of Canada’s final list of Indian Residential Schools that were covered by the IRSSA (2015).

Next steps

A comparison of these four datasets reveals many discrepancies in the primary names and aliases that have been assigned to the Obates’ Indian Residential Schools. We next consider one option for addressing most these discrepancies – adopting the Oblates’ own names for the Indian Residential Schools that they managed.
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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.

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