More than 200 students died at Vancouver Island's 5 residential schools
The painful history of residential schools in Canada has been brought back to the forefront after the remains of approximately 215 children were discovered under a former residential school site in Kamloops last week. But the horrors of residential schools are not something that affects B.C.'s mainland alone.
Throughout its history, the Vancouver Island region has been home to five residential schools, where at least 200 Indigenous students lost their lives.
Residential schools were located on Kuper Island, Meares Island and Flores Island, as well as in Port Alberni and Alert Bay.
Across the five residential schools, at least 202 students died of various causes, according to the University of Manitoba's National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Kuper Island Residential School (1890 – 1975)
Kuper Island Residential School was a place of many tragedies during its decades-long existence.
According to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, 121 students are confirmed to have died at the school, which was founded by the Catholic Church.
In 1896, the university says students tried to burn down the school when holidays were cancelled. That year, a survey was conducted and found that 107 former students, out of 264, had died since the school opened.
Residential school survivor Eddy Charlie told CTV News that the Kuper Island Residential School was called "Canada's Alcatraz" by students.
"Many children tried to swim away from the school and died while trying to escape," he said Friday.
The federal government took over operation of the school in 1969, before it was eventually closed in 1975, according to the University of Manitoba.
"In 1995 a former employee pled guilty to three charges of indecent assault and gross indecency," according to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Alberni Residential School (1900 – 1973)
The Alberni Residential School was built just outside of Port Alberni by the Presbyterian Church.
According to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, 30 students are confirmed to have died at the school.
The residential school burned down and was rebuilt three times over its 73-year existence, and was taken over by the United Church in 1925.
In the 1960s, the West Coast Council of Indian Chiefs campaigned to have the school closed, according to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
The council alleged that children in need were being abandoned at the school. The school was later closed in 1973, and in 1995 a former supervisor – who worked at the school from 1948 to 1968 – was convicted of 18 counts of indecent assault against Indigenous students and was sentenced to 11 years in jail, according to the university.
Christie Residential School (1900 – 1983)
Christie Residential School was located on Meares Island, northeast of Tofino.
The residential school was fraught with overcrowding and six children died of tubercular meningitis between 1939 and 1941, according to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
In total, 23 students are confirmed to have died at the school.
In the 1950s, a child was also sexually abused by a school maintenance worker for a period of several years, according to the centre.
The school was closed in 1971 and students were transferred to the Christie Student Residence in Tofino. Three years later, in 1974, the Christie Student Residence was taken over by the West Coast District Council of Indian Chiefs and was later closed in 1983.
Ahousaht Residential School (1904 – 1940)
Ahousaht Residential School was located on Flores Island, north of Tofino, and was founded by the Presbyterian United Church.
The federally sponsored school was later taken over by the United Church in 1925.
The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation says that physical punishments were common at the school, and students were prohibited from speaking their native languages.
"An inspector's report from 1936 noted that every staff member carried a strap and that the children 'never learned to work without punishment,'" says the centre.
The school burned down in 1940 and was replaced by a United Church day school later that year.
The University of Manitoba says 13 children were confirmed to have died at the school.
St. Michael’s Residential School (1894 – 1974)
The Alert Bay school first started as a day school by the Anglican Church before becoming a boarding school in 1882. It later received residential school designation in 1894, according to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
In 1947, more than 20 students fled from the school, prompting an investigation into conditions at the property.
The investigation's findings led to the school's principal and vice-principal resigning from their positions.
In 1969, the school was taken over by the federal government and students living there were sent to local schools for classes. The residence was eventually closed in 1974.
According to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, 15 students are confirmed to have died at the school.
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
While Canadians didn't have to wait too long on election night to find out who will lead the next government, there are still several individual seats too close to call and it could take a few days to get clear results with many mail-in ballots still to be counted.
When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the 2021 federal election, he said it was because he thought Canadians should have their say about where the country is going. Well, voters have spoken, and it's another minority Liberal government. With an almost identical House of Commons heading to Ottawa in terms of seat distribution, leaders are now facing post-election questions about their futures.
U.S. President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to congratulate his election win and the two leaders plan to meet in person soon, the White House and Prime Minister’s Office said in statements on Tuesday.
Tyler Shandro is no longer Alberta's health minister as part of Premier Jason Kenney's cabinet shuffle on Tuesday afternoon.
Autopsy results have confirmed that the remains found Sunday in the Bridger-Teton National Forest are those of Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old woman who disappeared while on a trip exploring national parks with her fiancé, according to the FBI in Denver.
A magnitude 5.8 earthquake caused damage in the city of Melbourne on Wednesday in an unusually powerful temblor for Australia, Geoscience Australia said.
Many older voters, parents with young children and Canadians with disabilities didn't vote because of long lineups at their voting sites, with Elections Canada apologizing for the wait but saying there was little else they could do in a pandemic.
TRUTH TRACKER | The 2021 election is expected to be the costliest yet
Holding a federal election is never cheap, but the 2021 election, coming in the midst of a global pandemic, is on track to be the most expensive in Canadian history.
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says he's triggered a review looking into his party's election loss, underscoring that he's committed to making sure the Tories are battle-ready for the next one.
The Election Day results in three B.C. ridings are so close the candidates may be waiting for days while mail-in ballots are verified and counted.
Police are investigating after possible human remains were found in a wooded area of Surrey, B.C., this week.
The number of COVID-19 patients in B.C. hospitals continued to climb on Tuesday, adding to the pandemic's ongoing strain on health-care resources that has already resulted in hundreds of delayed surgeries in recent weeks.
Alberta reported 1,519 new COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths on Tuesday as Tyler Shandro resigned from his position as health minister.
Tyler Shandro is no longer Alberta's health minister as part of Premier Jason Kenney's cabinet shuffle on Tuesday afternoon.
Former Toronto Maple Leafs player Zach Hyman is ready to play with his new team, the Oilers and they're also excited to have him.
Premier Jason Kenney swapped Tyler Shandro and Jason Copping's portfolios in a mid-afternoon cabinet shuffle Tuesday.
A Calgary man wanted on a sexual assault case involving a 13-year-old girl has been captured.
Kevin Stanfield has been named the weekday weather anchor and chief meteorologist for CTV Calgary News at 5, 6 and 11:30, succeeding the venerable David Spence, who is retiring after more than 40 years at the station.
Ontario's vaccine certificate program comes into effect tomorrow and there are some important things to know about how it will work.
Add your vaccination status to your iPhone in three easy steps.
Environment Canada is warning that some parts of the city could see up to 75mm of rain and that thunderstorms and flooding are a possibility.
Quebec considering special law to prevent anti-vax protesters from blocking access to hospitals, schools
Quebec premier François Legault said it’s 'unacceptable' that people have been protesting against the vaccine passport outside hospitals and schools recently and said the province could turn to the law to put an end to these demonstrations.
'Can't take it anymore': Operating-room nurses at Lakeshore Hospital stage sit-in, refusing move to ICU
Operating-room nurses at Lakeshore Hospital staged a sit-in Tuesday morning, saying they’ve been made to work nearly around the clock and want to refuse a move to further skeleton staffing.
Quebec Minister Simon Jolin-Barrette called for calm Tuesday morning in his remarks before the start of consultations on language law Bill 96.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau is vowing to get 'back to work,' after being dealt a second minority government in the 2021 federal election that looks much like the one Canadians elected in 2019.
Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting 65 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, along with 40 recoveries, as the number of active cases in the province rises to 509.
'I don't want to see other people go through it': Growing pressure on N.S. government to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for health-care workers
With mandatory vaccines looking more and more likely for healthcare workers in Nova Scotia, union reps say government will have to provide alternatives for workers who can't -- or won't -- get the shot.
At the end of the day Monday, one Manitoba riding remained unclaimed in the federal election. That result has not changed late Tuesday afternoon.
A cyclist who has been riding across Canada to raise awareness of the youth mental health crisis in a Manitoba community is back home, but says his journey is far from complete.
A restaurant in Winnipeg that was fined $40,000 for breaking public health orders is now closed to in-person dining.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says “it’s unfortunate” that people who attended the People’s Party of Canada election headquarters in Saskatoon flaunted the province’s mask mandate.
A Saskatoon man says his polling station wasn’t set up for him to enter in his wheelchair despite being led to believe it was accessible.
Following an investigation by the Saskatoon Police Service sex crimes unit, a 60-year-old man has been charged with sexual assualt.
From stolen urinal attempts to missing soap dispensers, washrooms in Regina schools have become the target of the latest TikTok challenge.
Saskatchewan broke its record for COVID-19 hospitalizations on Tuesday, marking the third straight day the province has done so.
After yesterday's election, Premier Scott Moe is calling the election “pointless” and wants Justin Trudeau to get to work addressing the real issues facing Canadians.
If it seems like more guns are being used in London this year, it’s because they are.
Much of the same in the London-area ridings following Monday night's federal election.
Starting Wednesday, residents will need to show a proof of vaccination to access non-essential businesses in Ontario including nightclubs, entertainment venues, gyms and restaurants.
With the exception of Sault Ste. Marie, which is still up in the air, Monday's election in northern Ontario left the same parties in charge of the same ridings.
A result of a wide variety of community partnerships, the Schumacher Lions Club unveiled its International Peace Park on Tuesday, a show of celebration for the city's cultural diversity.
Proof of the COVID-19 vaccination is soon to be the new normal across Ontario and for some of the major hubs in the northeast region, it’s key for their employment.
Businesses and municipal facilities across Waterloo Region are preparing for the launch of Ontario's vaccine passports on Wednesday.
Nearly 24 hours after the election polls closed, two ridings in Waterloo Region are still too close to call.
Here are the federal election results for Waterloo Region and the surrounding area.