Residential School Records

The following information is about Residential Schools and may cause distress. Please take care.

Need support? The Indian Residential School Survivor Support Society has established a 24-hour Crisis Line. Call: 1 (800) 721-0066"

The BC Archives holds various records relating to Residential Schools.

Included in our holdings are the records of religious congregations that worked at the schools, photographs, newsletters, annuals, government records (including lands records, vital events records, coroner’s inquests and inquiries, and more), sound recordings of survivors, and publications.

The Oblates of Mary Immaculate are a Catholic missionary religious congregation that operated 10 residential schools in BC. Read more about them here: Read descriptions of the records in our database here:

The Sisters of St. Ann are a Catholic religious congregation that worked at four residential schools in BC. The Sisters of St. Ann have recently transferred their archival records to the BC Archives, and we are working to process the records and make them accessible. To read more about the transfer, see:

To access the Sisters of St. Ann Archives, please contact For all other inquiries about the Sisters of St Ann, please contact

Our government records holdings cover a range of records connected to residential schools. We have guides arranged by subject to help with this research:

Sounds recordings and oral histories often contain accounts of people’s experiences in Residential School. To access descriptions of these records, go to our catalogue: - using the advanced search option, choose sound recording under the “general material designation” dropdown box.

The BC Archives library collection has publications on Residential Schools in BC. To search the library catalogue, go to:


Many Residential School records were the responsibility of the federal government, and would have been transferred to the national repository, Library and Archives Canada (LAC). You can read about Residential School records at LAC here: LAC and other records-holding institutions have shared Residential School records with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR): In BC, the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at UBC provides records, resources, and support:

Children were sent all over the country, but the most common province for children from BC to be sent was Alberta. The Provincial Archives of Alberta (PAA) has a lot of records that may be helpful in this research, in particular the records of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI). The OMI collection at the PAA covers a large geographic area, and is extensive in its scope:

They have compiled a list of names of children found in the OMI records:

The Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition is the primary organization in the US compiling information about boarding schools there. You can read about them here:" - and particularly their resource page -