1452-1493: Doctrine of Discovery—successive Popes give European kings the moral and legal authority to seize the lands of any non-Christian peoples, to take them captive, and to convert them to Christianity. This archaic doctrine becomes the basis for Canadian sovereignty, the Indian Act & the Residential School system.

1763: Royal Proclamation officially signed by King George. The first legal document created by colonists specifically about Indians. Attempts to legitimize England’s claim to first rights to land and resources.

1847: Government study recommends religious-based industrial schools

1876: Indian Act focused on assimilation and control

1879: Davin Report recommends use of industrial Residential Schools for assimilation

1880–1894: Reserves are assigned to Okanagan people without our consent

1884: The Anti-Potlatch Law makes it illegal to hold our ceremonies and dances

1890: The Indian Residential School at Kamloops opens

1892: Canada and churches agree to partner in operation of Indian schools

1898: St. Eugene’s Mission school opens outside Cranbrook

1900s: Prior to the 1920’s, when it became law, most of the children who went were either orphans or had only one parent. In 1900 less than 20% of Indian children in BC attended Indian Residential Schools

1916: The first Indian Day School in the Okanagan is established on the Inkameep Indian Reserve as an alternative to Residential Schools

1920: Attendance at Indian Residential School is made compulsory. Children with Indian status must attend school from ages 7 to 15 either at day schools on reserve (when available) or at the nearest Indian Residential School. Parents who fail to send their children to school face prison

1927: Canada makes it illegal to raise money or obtain legal counsel to advance Indian land title; our people are forbidden to organize politically and Indian resistance goes underground

1951: Indian Act revised; ban on ceremonies and land claims lifted

1951: The federal government amended s. 88 of the Indian Act to allow “all laws of general application … in force in any province” to apply as well to Indians both on- and off-reserve. This included child welfare programs

1958: Kamloops Indian Residential School reaches its peak enrollment of 440 children

1960: Indians can vote in federal elections

1960s: As other Indian Residential Schools begin to close, schools also begin, Kamloops becomes a dormitory for students from all over the province who attend the public high school in Kamloops

1960s: The “Sixties Scoop” sees many Indian children taken into mostly white foster care or adoptive homes

1990: Oka crisis fuels an awakening and ignites the passion of Indigenous people across the Canada, including the Okanagan to Oka Run for Peace

1991: Oblates of Mary Immaculate apologize for their role in Indian Residential Schools. The first public, nationwide apology in regards to the Indian Residential School system is given

1994: Indian Residential School Survivor Society began as a working group of the First Nations Summit. Formalized as a society in 2002

1995: Forbidden Culture film produced by Tracey Bonneau interviews Syilx Indian Residential School survivors who attended St. James Mission at Cranbrook

1996: Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples includes extensive research on the abuses and impacts of Indian Residential Schools

1996: Last Indian Residential School closes in Saskatchewan

1998: Canada establishes the Aboriginal Healing Foundation

2001: Virginia Baptiste, residential school survivor, produced the movie Survivors of the Red Brick School House

2002: ONA Chiefs Executive Council resolve to develop a short term and long term strategy to address the full impacts of the Residential School experience

2003: ONA Chiefs Executive Council pass resolution to call for Government of Canada to settle the lawsuit with Indian Residential School Survivors and compensate them for loss of culture, language and education

2003: Syilx Indian Residential School survivors rally at the courthouse in Kelowna, BC to bring awareness and demand settlement

2007: Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement comes into effect with Canada providing close to $2 billion compensation to former students. me survivors did not accept the money. Residential School Survivors state that it will never be enough for what they have had to endure

2008: Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologizes to former students

2008: Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is launched to document the stories of former students

2009: Justice Sinclair appointed Chair of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission

2012: ONA develops a TRC Council of Elders to guide and assist in the ONA TRC projects. Projects include community Residential School Commemoration monuments, Syilx Indian Residential School workshops, research on survivor stories, development of the Nation monument, and development of the Resilient Spirits book

2014: Canada ends funding to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation and the organization closes its doors after 16 years of operation

2014: ONA Chief Executive Council direct that a Syilx Indian Residential School strategy be developed

2015: The final report of the TRC is released with 94 Calls to Action

2015: Okanagan Nation Alliance: Syilx Indian Residential School Committee established

2017: Syilx Okanagan Nation Indian Residential School monument unveiled