PRESERVE YOUR HISTORY – How the Records are involved in Research and Education

The NCTR plays a central role in the Reconciliation movement that continues to grow across Canada. To have a better understanding of the history, impact and legacy of Residential Schools in Canada, the NCTR is committed to education and research on the records is conducted to shed light on the past and the path moving forward.


The NCTR’s mandate and goal is to raise awareness as to why Residential Schools were created, the ongoing legacy, and the impacts that this system has made on all Canadians.

The NCTR works in collaboration with education ministries, teacher organizations, post-secondary institutions, community groups and professional organizations to provide access to materials and records for the development and delivery of learning resources, programs and activities.

Through these varied processes of education, outreach and engagement, the NCTR challenges all sectors of the Canadian public to explore uncovered truths, to engage in conversations of Reconciliation and to keep the journey of understanding, healing and empathy alive within themselves, their homes and families.

As said by former Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Chair, Senator Murray Sinclair “Education is what got us into this mess and education is key to getting us out of it.”


Researchers and communities can gain access to the collections at the NCTR to provide content and context to Residential Schools, their legacy and the broader legacies of settler colonialism in Canada.

History is only one part of the Residential School legacy that researchers are interested in exploring. There are contemporary impacts that the schools and colonialism have on people and society in general that the collections at the NCTR can provide information on and context for. Important narratives include: the child welfare system in Canada, the 60’s Scoop, day schools, Indian Hospitals, Indigenous languages, Indigenous education in Canada and narratives on healing after Residential Schools.

The NCTR uses the records and the research at the Centre to contribute to discussions on Reconciliation, Justice and the TRC Calls to Action, in Canada. Collections of the NCTR are available to First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities across Canada to use and to provide important content and context to their own community collections and/or archives.

The list of intergenerational impacts of Residential Schools and what we consider “ripple effects” of the Residential Schools and colonialism is almost endless. Senator Murray Sinclair, in the TRC final report mentioned that almost “all segments of Canadian society” will need to be reconsidered or will be touched by the work of the TRC. The NCTR collections contribute to research in psychology, human rights, gender studies, Indigenous studies, transitional justice/peace studies, anti-racism discourse, studies in decolonization, health/medical studies, sociology, archival studies and collaborative research inside Indigenous communities. The NCTR collections provide information that Canada and the Churches kept controlled for over 100 years.

Access to the NCTR collection is shaped by the demands, cautions and expectations of Survivors and guided by ongoing dialogue and discussion with Survivors, their families and their communities.

The protection of Survivors privacy is assured by the NCTR through accordance with access and privacy legislation and community-based ethics. For more information on NCTR access and privacy click here.