The Indian residential school system is one of the most heinous parts of Canada’s history and is an ongoing injustice for Indigenous people across Canada. While a government apology and ongoing Truth and Reconciliation Commission have begun to heal the wounds that began over one hundred years ago, Canada still has a lot to answer for and reflect upon. Indeed, Canadians should never stop contemplating their historical complicity in the attempted cultural genocide of Indigenous people throughout the 20th century through residential schools and the Indian Act.

This project grew out of a desire to discover how people were thinking about the residential schools in the last several years, with developments like Stephen Harper’s apology in 2008 and the ongoing Truth and Reconciliation Commission. I wanted to learn if Canadians were considering the legacy of residential schools or if it was being ignored in the everyday experiences of Canadians. I have not uncovered any objective answers, but what I have discovered is illuminating nonetheless.

Through analyzing search patterns on Google Trends about residential schools, I believe I have uncovered some interesting patterns and trends in how people use Google, the most prevalent search engine of the Internet, to look for knowledge about residential schools.

Source: Searching for Residential Schools: Public Consciousness through Google Trends