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IST: Indigenous Studies

This guide presents selected print and electronic resources in Indigenous studies available through the Camosun College Library and open access web sites.

About this guide

The confirmation of the locations of unmarked burials at residential schools across Canada in 2021, including those at the Kuper Island School on Penelakut Island (east of Chemainus, Vancouver Island, 90 km from Victoria / lək̓ʷəŋən Territory), has further emphasized the ongoing and devastating impacts of Canada's Indian residential school system. 

Indigenous communities and residential school survivors have, for many years, provided testimonies and spoken truths about Canada's Indian residential school system. In 2012 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada published the interim report, They Came for the Children: Canada, Aboriginal Peoples, and Residential Schools. In 2015, as volume 4 of the final report, Canada's Residential Schools: Missing Children and Unmarked Burials, was published. The summary, The Survivor's Speak: A Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, provides just some of the personal testimony of survivors brought forward during the Commission.

Canadians have known about the atrocities of Canada's residential school system for a long time. It is time to listen, learn, and take action. In honour of both the children who did not survive, as well those who did, take some time today for learning as an act of reconciliation.

If you have suggestions for resources to add to the Camosun collection, please contact us with your ideas.

Caution: Many of the resources in this guide contain discussions or scenes of violence or representations of trauma which may be painful for readers/viewers – please exercise care.

If you need help: The KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides 24-hour phone support for Indigenous people in BC. The KUU-US Crisis Line can be reached toll-free at 1-800-588-8717. Individuals can also call the Youth Line at 250-723-2040 or the Adult Line at 250-723-4050.

The Indian Residential School Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419 is available 24-hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their or a loved one's residential school experience.

Camosun students can access help from the Counselling Centre. For resources related to emergency and after hours support, on-campus support, and other information, visit the Counselling Centre Resources webpage.

Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada e-resources

Residential Schools in Creative Writing

Burning in This Midnight Dream

Louise B. Halfe, 2021
Call number: PS 8565 A4335 B87 2021
*Authentic Indigenous Voices 

One Story, One Song

Richard Wagamese, 2016
Ebook and in print: E 99 C6 W3383 2015
*Authentic Indigenous Voices 

Bear Bones and Feathers

Louise Bernice Halfe, 1994
Call number: PS 8565 A4335 B4 1994
*Authentic Indigenous Voices 

Indians Don't Cry: Gaawiin Mawisiiwag Anishinaabeg

George Kenny, translated by Patricia M. Ningewance, 2014
*Authentic Indigenous Voices 


NFB Indigenous Voices & Reconciliation

NFB Indigenous Voices and Reconciliation banner

The National Film Board of Canada’s open-access Indigenous Voices and Reconciliation channel features an array of creative, documentary, and animated films.


Cover art for Rhymes for Young Ghouls DVD

Rhymes for Young Ghouls

Written and directed by Jeff Barnaby, 2014
Running time: 1 hour, 28 minutes
Call number PN 1997.2 R496 2014 (DVD 2 copies)

*Authentic Indigenous Voices 


Kuper Island: Return to the Healing Circle

Written, produced & directed by Peter C. Campbell & Christine Welsh
Gumboot Productions, 1997
Running time: 44 minutes
Call number: E 96.6 K83 K83 1997 (DVD)

*Authentic Indigenous Voices 

Muffins for Granny

Directed by Nadia McLaren, 2007
Mongrel Media
Running time: 1 hour 28 minutes
Call number: E 96.5 M84 2008 (DVD)

*Authentic Indigenous Voices 

Image from Sisters & Brothers

Sisters & Brothers

Directed by Kent Monkman, 2015
National Film Board of Canada
Running time: 3 minutes
Streaming media

*Authentic Indigenous Voices 

DVD cover image of We Were Children

We Were Children

Directed by Tim Wolochatiuk, 2012
National Film Board of Canada
Running time: 1 hour, 23 minutes
Streaming media

Film still from Holy Angels

Holy Angels

Written and directed by Jay Cardinal Villeneuve, 2017
National Film Board of Canada
Running time: 13 minutes
Streaming media

*Authentic Indigenous Voices 

Cover art for Off to School

Off to School

National Film Board of Canada, 1958
Running time: 8 minutes
Streaming media

Cover art for Where are the Children?

Where are the Children? Healing the Legacy of the Residential Schools

Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2003
Running time: 28 minutes
Call number: E 96.5 W447 2003 (DVD 2 copies)

Image of the Secret Path cover

The Secret Path

Directed by Mike Downie, 2016
CBC Curio
Running time: 60 minutes
Streaming media

Screen still from No Turning Back

No Turning Back

Directed by Gregory Coyes, 1996
National Film Board of Canada
Running time: 47 minutes
Streaming media

*Authentic Indigenous Voices