In Canada, the Indian residential school system[nb 1] was a network of boarding schools for Indigenous peoples.[nb 2] The network was funded by the Canadian government's Department of Indian Affairs and administered by Christian churches. The school system was created for the purpose of removing Indigenous children from the influence of their own culture and assimilating them into the dominant Canadian culture, "to kill the Indian in the child."
Over the course of the system's more than hundred-year existence, about 30 percent of Indigenous children (around 150,000) were placed in residential schools nationally.:2–3
The number of school-related deaths
remains unknown due to an incomplete
historical record, though estimates
range from 3,200 to upwards of 6,000.
The goal of the schools was to “kill the Indian in the child”
but sometimes the child themselves died - 6,000 of the
150,000 who attended the schools between the 1870s and
1996 died or disappeared. The numbers are not precise
because neither the schools, the churches that managed
the schools, nor the Indian agents kept accurate records.