THE RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL SYSTEM IN CANADAFrom the early 1830s to 1996, thousands of First Nation, Inuit, and Métis children were forced to attend residential schools in an attempt to aggressively assimilate them into the dominatnt culture. Many of the major events of the residential schoo lera are shown here. Visit for a comprehensive timeline and to learn more about the history and legacy of the Residential School System.100YEARSOF LOSS1620The Recollets─a religious order from France─establish the first residential school, near Québec City.1844The Bagot Commission recommends the establishment of manual labour schools for Aboriginal children.1867The Constitution Act (also known as the British North America Act) creates the Dominion of Canada which includes Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.1763The Royal Proclamation of 1763, issued by the British Crown, acknowledges Aboriginal land rights as “…not having been ceded to or purchased by Us, are reserved to them.”1831Mohawk Indian Residential School opens in Brantford, Ontario.1857The Gradual Civilization Act requires that all Indian males over the age of 21 who can speak, read, and write English or French will be “enfranchised,” meaning that they must renounce their Indian status and become a British subject.1884Amendment to the Indian Act─traditional Indian ceremonies, such as potlatches and the Sun Dance, are prohibited.1883Following recommendations made in the Davin Report, Sir John A. Macdonald authorizes creation of residential schools in the Canadian West.1872The Dominion Lands Actencourages European settlement in the prairie provinces by giving 160 acres of land away to any settler who will build a homestead on the land and cultivate at least 40 acres.1876The Indian Act is enacted and gives government exclusive right to create legislation regarding Indians and Indian lands. This act identifies who is an Indian and establishes related legal rights.1889Allegations emerge of physical and sexual abuse at Rupert’s Land School in Selkirk, Manitoba.1879The Davin Reportrecommends the creation of a system of industrial schools where children are intentionally separated from their parents to reduce the influence of the “wigwam”.First Nations and Métis, including Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont, Poundmaker, and Big Bear, fight for the recognition of land and treaty rights in Saskatchewan. Riel and other leaders are hanged for treason. Poundmaker, Big Bear and others are imprisoned.1914Amendment to the Indian Act─western Aboriginals must seek official permission before appearing in Aboriginal “costume” in any public dance, show, exhibition, stampede, or pageant.1896Forty-five residential/industrial schools are operating in Canada.