Resources for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

As we reflect on the difficult legacy of residential schools, here are some resources that may be of particular interest to architects and designers.

A still from the Indian Affairs film “We Learn English” includes a modernist school building as a backdrop. Although residential schools are usually associated with older buildings, the residential school system in Canada also included the construction of facilities in a modernist architectural style. Image courtesy NFB

September 30 is the first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, recognizing and commemorating the intergenerational harm that residential schools have caused to Indigenous families and communities, and to honour those who have been affected by this injustice.

As we reflect on this difficult legacy that we are all living with, Canadian Architect offers some resources that may be of particular interest to architects and designers.



From Earth to Sky, 2021 TVO documentary about Indigenous architects
Toronto Society of Architects playlist of documentaries on First Nations land issues and and interviews with Indigenous architects
Anishinabek Nation: Treaty Education, kid-friendly animated educational video series about treaties, put together by the Anishinabek Nation


The Path: Your Journey Through Indigenous Canada, RAIC on-demand course
Land Back, featuring Amy Smoke, Eladia Smoke and Phil Monture. Recorded lecture from the University of Waterloo School of Architecture Arriscraft Lecture Series, What is Solidarity?
13,000 Years of Indigenous History in the GTA – And Why it Matters to Planning and Development, recorded seminar hosted by ULI Toronto
Indigenous Canada, free online course offered by the University of Alberta
Canada by Treaty: Negotiating Histories, virtual exhibit exploring Canada’s treaties and their role as foundational documents for the country

Learning from Indigenous Consultants, interviews with Indigenous architects by Omeasoo Wahpasiw

Designing with Both Eyes Open, interview with Eladia Smoke and Craig Applegath
Settler-Colonial Modern, Magdalena Milosz on the history of modernist residential schools
RAIC signs UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, with a Q&A on its significance


Whose Land, web-based app that uses GIS technology to assist users in identifying Indigenous Nations, territories and communities across Canada.
Ontario Treaty Map, interactive map resource developed by the province of Ontario providing information on the more than 40 treaties and land agreements that cover Ontario.

Toward Unsettling: A Syllabus Project, an open-access syllabus focused on critically examining colonial practices in Canadian architecture
Myseum of Toronto: Indigenous Resources for Allies, a useful list of resources compiled by the Myseum of Toronto.


This list is prepared with resources provided, in part, by The Architect Builders Collaborative, the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, and the Toronto Society of Architects.