Indian Residential School Survivors (IRSS) Legacy Project

2016 marked 140 years since the first Indian Residential Schools (IRS) were implemented (1876-1996) under the Indian Act allowing the federal government to establish Residential Schools; incorporating religious-based, industrial schools for the purpose of assimilation of Indigenous youth through education and religious institutions under official government policy.  Children as young as 3 years old were removed from their home communities isolated far from parental influence, separated from their siblings (schools were segregated according to gender), forbidden to speak their first language and their culture prohibited. Our children were institutionalized in order to integrate them into Canadian society, disrupting their growth, lives and communities, and causing long-term impacts. Many children experienced excessive punishment; physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse.

The IRSS Legacy project recognizes this fact and commits to work towards Truth and Reconciliation through the creation of a structure entitled the RESTORATION OF IDENTITY.  The structure recreates the Turtle, symbolic of Mother Earth, acknowledges former IRS students, their Nations and Clans, and roots them back to their rightful place within creation.  The Turtle climbing over a boulder structure (listing Residential Schools in Ontario) is intended to remind ALL of the struggles experienced by Residential School Survivors and to demonstrate their continued recovery and resilience.

SCALE MODEL of Restoration of Identity Legacy Structure
by Anishinabe artist Solomon King

Artist Concept

Placement of ROI Legacy Structure within an Indigenous Healing Garden

Southwest corner of Nathan Phillips Square between the walkway and the Upper Canada Law Society

Current version of ROI Brochure



City Council adopted this item on November 7, 2017 without amendments.

This item was considered by Executive Committee on October 24, 2017 and was adopted with amendments. It will be considered by City Council on November 7, 2017.


City Council consideration on November 7, 2017





ADOPTED   Legacy Restoration Project Update - Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre



Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre

439 Dundas Street East

Toronto ON M5A 2B1


Tel.: 416.360.4350

Fax:  416.360.5978


Charity # 10525-5244 RR0001

Hours of Operation: Mon - Fri   9 AM to 5 PM

(Extended Hours for Special Programming)


Main Entrance: 439 Dundas St. E. at Parliament


Gathering Place Entrance: Parliament St. side

at Dundas

Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre © 2018