Aug 7, 2023

Canadian National Archives to Digitize, Transfer 6 Million Pages of Indian Day School Records

Canada’s national archives is working to identify, digitize and transfer six million pages of federal Indian day school records to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), the department head says.

That kind of paper would fill multiple tractor trailers to the brim, said Leslie Weir, librarian and archivist of Canada, who hopes to finish the work in three years time.

“We’re quite confident that we can get the six million pages digitized within the time frame,” she said.

“We’ve already done more than 90,000 pages.”

Weir was responding to a July Senate report vowing to demand answers from groups that haven’t released records connected to Canada’s residential school system.

Accusing governments and churches of “standing between Indigenous Peoples and the truth,” the Senate standing committee on Indigenous Peoples published a list of records the NCTR says remain outstanding.

On that list were day school records from Weir’s department of Library and Archives Canada (LAC).

“There was no surprise that we would be on that list,” Weir said, adding that her organization welcomes the opportunity to testify.