Teaching and learning the legacy of residential schools for remembering and reconciliation in Canada

In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada released a Final Report containing 94 Calls to Action. Included were calls for reform in how history is taught in Canadian schools, so that students may learn to address such difficult topics in Canadian history as Indian Residential Schools, racism and cultural genocide. Operating somewhat in parallel to these reforms, social studies curricula across Canada have undergone substantial revisions. As a result, historical thinking is now firmly embedded within the curricula of most provinces and territories. Coupled with these developments are various academic debates regarding public pedagogy, difficult knowledge and student beliefs about Canada’s colonial past. Such debates require that researchers develop a better understanding of how knowledge related to Truth and Reconciliation is currently presented within Canadian classrooms, and how this may (or may not) relate to historical thinking.

In this paper, member of the URE Cynthia Wallace-Casey explores this debate as it relates to Indian Residential Schools. She then analyse a selection of classroom resources currently available in Canada for teaching about Truth and Reconciliation. In so doing, she considers how these relate to Peter Seixas’s six concepts of historical thinking, as well as broader discussions within Canada about Indigenous world views, historical empathy and Reconciliation.

To read the article: https://www.scienceopen.com/hosted-document?doi=10.14324/HERJ.19.1.04