Reminders of residential school experiences can be painful, distressing, and triggering. It is important to access whatever supports you need. Below are just a few of the supports available to Survivors, intergenerational Survivors, and Indigenous community members.
These materials have been selected by GRASAC RAs Shenella Charles, Bradley Clements, Autumn Epple, Carlie Manners, and Sheila Annettee Wheesk based on GRASAC’s areas of focus. To make additions or corrections to this list, please contact us.
24/7 Survivors’ Crisis Support Line
This crisis line for Survivors and former students of Indian Residential Schools and family members is available toll-free, 24/7: 1-866-925-4419
“We at the Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS) strive to provide physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual growth, development, and healing through culturally-based values and guiding principles for Survivors, Families, and Communities.” The Indian Residential School Survivors Society offers a crisis line for grief, crisis, and trauma counselling: 1-800-721-0066
“The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada.” This includes a 24/7 toll-free crisis helpline: 1-855-242-3310
Native Women’s Association of Canada Elder Support Line (Canada)
The Native Women’s Association of Canada’s Elder support line is available across Canada, Monday-Friday, 9am-11am EST and 1pm-3pm EST: 888-664-7808
Wabano Centre (Ottawa)
“Wabano’s Mental Wellness team is unique because we merge Indigenous practices with contemporary therapeutic methods. Whatever path you choose, Wabano is a safe space for you and your family to explore your inner strength and resilience.”
Friendship Centres (Canada):
Friendship Centres provide community and a range of services, resources, and programs for off-reserve Indigenous peoples. Find a Friendship Centre near you.
The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre at the University of British Columbia provides information about common experiences of distress and self-care methods.
“The Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program provides mental health, emotional and cultural support services to eligible former Indian Residential School students and their families throughout all phases of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement.”
Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction (Toronto):
“Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction is a response to the pandemic of ongoing colonization and lack of services for the urban Indigenous population. TIHR has been on the frontlines of encampment support and the devastating overdose crisis that is currently taking place across Turtle Island.”
Native Arts Society (Toronto)
“Native Arts Society was inspired by “art days” which began in May 2020 at one of the encampments and on a street corner in Parkdale, Toronto. The expressive arts have been an incredibly important part of our work and many of the Indigenous street folks we support are talented multimedia artists and come from a long line of Indigenous artists including relations to the Group of Seven. Many Indigenous artists wind up being exploited for their beautiful work, which they often sell on street corners to non-Indigenous people happy to pay way below value for original Native art. We, Native Arts Society, will provide people with a safe space to keep art, sell art, and help people come to work on their art in a place rooted in harm reduction and free from judgment.”
Justice for Day Scholars (Canada)
If you or a family member attended a residential school during the day but did not reside there, you can find information about a potential settlement here.
Anishnawbe Health Toronto (Toronto)
“Anishnawbe Health Toronto is a fully accredited health centre, accredited by the Canadian Centre for Accreditation (CCA). AHT’s model of health care is based on Indigenous culture and traditions and as a result, AHT is the only facility in Toronto that cares for Indigenous clients with both western and traditional approaches to health care.” Anishinawbe Health Toronto provides Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, and Mental health services for Children, Youth, Adults, and Elders.
“Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) is a multi-service urban Aboriginal agency providing holistic, culture-based programs and services for Aboriginal children and families. NCFST strives to provide a life of quality, well-being, healing, and self-determination for children and families in the Toronto urban Aboriginal community.”
Toronto Aboriginal Support Services (Toronto)
This page provides a list of a range of supports available to diverse members of Indigenous communities in the Toronto area.