On September 30th, 2019, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) launched the National Student Memorial Register to honour and remember the children lost to Residential Schools. Since 2018, the University of Manitoba Libraries (UML) has been working with the NCTR to develop an online student memorial register as a direct response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action 72, which reads:
“We call upon the federal government to allocate sufficient resources to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to allow it to develop and maintain the National Residential School Student Death Register established by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.”
Children’s names, school and date of death (if available) are now publicly available through the National Student Memorial Register. Families and communities can access more information on each of the children through a request to the NCTR.
Additional names of children waiting to be found are not included within this register. There remains an extensive amount of work to be done to find all the children that never returned home and their burial sites. Statements given by Survivors, intergenerational survivors, families and community members also formed an essential part of this research. Ongoing information from Survivors, families and communities presents an important opportunity to ensure that no child is forgotten. Research efforts by the NCTR are ongoing, and this number will increase over time.
I would like to thank the following University of Manitoba Libraries employees for our collective work and dedication during the development and launch of the online National Student Memorial Register:
Coordinator, Research Services and Digital Strategies
University of Manitoba Libraries