Course Description

This course briefly explores the education of Indigenous societies before the enforcement of Indian Residential Schools. Learners will gain insight into the drastic changes in the lives of Indigenous Peoples that came with the establishment and enforcement of the Indian Residential School Systems in Canada.

The course will foster greater knowledge about the colonial policies, actions, and impacts of Indian Residential Schools on Indigenous Peoples which will lead to a deeper understanding to support actions of reconciliation at both personal and professional levels.

This course is beneficial to any learner who wishes to learn more about how, why, and when the Indian Residential School System existed in Canada. If you are a learner who seeks primary source evidence, such as archival documents as part of your learning experience, this course is for you!

TRC Calls to Action

Education #63

This course seeks to redress the legacy of residential schools and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation by providing education for all Canadian citizens and newcomers on the origins and history of Indian Residential Schools across Canada. This is accomplished through the Calls to Action: Education for Reconciliation #63, Justice #28, Training for Public Servants #57, and Newcomers to Canada #93.

Learning Outcomes

Learners will gain the knowledge, understanding, skills, abilities, attitude, and awareness to:

  1. Assess the significant differences between Indigenous education systems and Indian Residential School systems.
  2. Analyze significant historical events that led up to the establishment and operation of residential schools, including the violation of the treaties and their education provision.
  3. Examine Indigenous children’s residential school experiences and how these have impacted them, their families, and communities.
  4. Explain why reconciliation is important to Indigenous Peoples, but also to Canadian society and its relationships with Indigenous peoples.

Skills & Competencies

  • Personal awareness
  • Historical understandings
  • Critical reflection
  • Historical analysis


  • Number of hours: 5 hours total

  • Assessment: Some themes include a knowledge check which requires a passing grade of 70% or higher to move on to the next section. At the end of the course, you will need to pass the final quiz with a grade of 70% or higher to pass this course. Each knowledge check, including the final quiz, allows multiple attempts. Throughout this course, you will be prompted to respond to a self-reflection question as part of your learning experience. Record your responses in any manner you prefer. Your learning experience is yours and yours alone.

  • Previous education required: None; this course does not have a required prerequisite.

  • Delivery: Online, self-paced

  • Completion timeline: Within 180 days from when you enroll in the course.


Is this course for everyone?

  • Yes, this course is relevant to all people from all walks of life. The learners' life experiences will influence how they experience the course.

Some individuals and organizations may be GST-exempt.

  • First Nations University of Canada is situated on the Star Blanket First Nation and is exempt from Provincial Sales Tax (PST). If you or your organization are exempt from Government Sales Tax (GST), please get in touch with icec@firstnationsuniversity.ca to ensure that your invoice is prepared accordingly.

I need financial support. What funding options does ICEC recommend?

  • Check out our Funding Opportunities here

Who do I contact if I need help?

  • Check out ICEC's Learner Support page to see if your question is answered in the FAQs. If your question remains unresolved, feel free to complete the form with your question, or you may contact icec@firstnationsuniversity.ca for assistance with any questions. We are here to help! Support requests are received during regular office hours. Please expect a response within 24 to 48 hours. 
Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
The Indian Residential School System in Canada: Origins and History
Online, self paced
May 01, 2024 to Apr 30, 2025
Delivery Options
Course Fee(s)
The Indian Residential School System in Canada: Or non-credit $500.00
Drop Request Deadline
Apr 24, 2024
Transfer Request Deadline
Apr 24, 2024
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