The Residential School "Monster": Indigenous Self-Determination and Memory at Former Indian Residential School Sites

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Moran, Sidney Anne




Indian residential school (IRS) sites are physical reminders of the Canadian setter-colonial system's support of sustained violence against Indigenous peoples. Using archival research, I will demonstrate commemorative strategies at IRS sites that have contributed to the construction of collective memory surrounding residential schools and are examples of the role that sovereignty over IRS sites plays in IRS memory construction. My project foregrounds four case studies: the Mohawk Institute, Alberni IRS, Beauval IRS, and the St. Eugene Mission School; which IRS buildings have undergone reuse and destruction and represent what the Tseshaht, Haudenosaunee, Ktunaxa, and Dene have prioritized in their memorial projects. Different treatments of physical evidence at IRS sites, including reuse and destruction, are ultimately both forms of memorialization. I argue that engagement with the tangible history of residential schools by Indigenous peoples provides spaces for self-determination, contributing to the productive formation of collective memories of IRS sites and experiences.


Native American Studies
Canadian Studies




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Canadian Studies

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Theses and Dissertations

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