The federal government mandated that the names of treaty Indians who had died were to be deleted from the treaty lists, that Band lists were to be maintained, and that the death of every status Indian adult and child was to be registered with provincial vital statistics agencies. There was thus an official government record at both the federal and provincial levels of every status Indian death.
In view of these provisions, it is difficult to know how the myth that there are thousands of children ‘missing’ from Indian residential schools took root, especially since there is no record of any parent actively searching for any child who died at a residential school.at the time the child died.
Moreover provincial vital statistics offices across Canada long ago handed over thousands of death records to the TRC and NCTR. A review of these records by impartial observers would show that there are no ‘missing’ children, yet despite the fact that the NCTR has had these provincial death records for years, the names of several thousand allegedly ‘missing’ children who are not actually missing remain on the NCTR Memorial Register.
Some 500 of these death records located by private researchers can be accessed below.
These records establish that these children are not ‘missing’, and that in fact most of the deaths did not occur at residential schools. They occured in hospitals where the children were under the care of qualified physicians, or in accidents or from disease on the children’s home reserves. These death records also establish that for the most part the children were buried on their home reserves, and in many cases their parents signed the death certificates.
Unfortunately, communities on reserves have neglected their cemeteries for decades, and thus no longer know who is buried in the unmarked graves in their own community cemeteries, including the former residential school students who are buried there
Residential Schools - Death Records
Click on school names below to view the death records for that school