National Student Memorial Register honours children who died in residential school

The National Truth and Reconciliation Centre (NCTR) recently held a ceremony honouring the reveal of the National Student Memorial Register, which lists the names of 2,800 students who never returned home from residential schools. The register is intended as a reminder of the lives of the children that were lost as a result of the system.

The ceremony took place at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, and involved the display of a red cloth, 50 metres in length, which listed the names of the students for the first time.

The register was created in response to Call to Action 72 from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. It names children who died while attending a residential school, or who were injured or became ill at a residential school and died away from the school.

The NCTR recognizes that the number of children lost in the schools is far higher than the number of names included in the register, as many of the dead or missing children remain unidentified. An estimated 1,900 children are unnamed. As further work is done to recover their names, the list will continue to grow.

The register is now available on the NCTR’s website.

The Residential School History and Dialogue Centre has a small amount of print copies of the register on hand for Survivors and family members. For more information, contact or come to the Centre in person to see a copy of the register.