'We Must Teach the Indian What Law Is': The Laws of Indian Residential Schools in Canada

120 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2017 Last revised: 23 Jun 2017

Date Written: April 18, 2017


This paper provides a chronological sequence of the laws that were used to create and enforce Indian Residential Schools in Canada. The paper provides extensive excerpts from the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The excerpts are chosen based on how directly they are related to law, and the excerpts are re-organized to be presented in a chronological manner. The table of contents of the paper can serve as a time line of the laws that created and enforced and ended Indian Residential Schools. Other sources are also cited.

This paper is one of series written by the author in attempting to understand and explain why it was nearly impossible for indigenous peoples to use the legal system to protect themselves or obtain compensation for the abuses they suffered in the residential schools until well into the 1990s.

Keywords: law, history, Canada, discrimination, indigenous, aboriginal, education, police, corporal punishment, treaties, doctrine of discovery, Indian Residential Schools, truth and reconciliation

Suggested Citation

McMahon, Thomas, 'We Must Teach the Indian What Law Is': The Laws of Indian Residential Schools in Canada (April 18, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2954877 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2954877

Thomas McMahon (Contact Author)

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