The NCTR is a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of the residential school experience will be honoured and kept safe for future generations.
The NCTR was created as part of the mandate of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). The TRC was charged to listen to Survivors, their families, communities and others affected by the residential school system and educate Canadians about their experiences. The resulting collection of statements, documents and other materials now forms the sacred heart of the NCTR.
The NCTR Archives and Collections is the foundation for ongoing learning and research. Here, Survivors, their families, educators, researchers, and the public can examine the residential school system more deeply with the goal of fostering reconciliation and healing.
“Ka-kí-kiskéyihtétan óma, namoya kinwés maka aciyowés pohko óma óta ka-hayayak wasétam askihk, ékwa ka-kakwéy miskétan kiskéyihtamowin, iyinísiwin, kistéyitowin, mina nánisitotatowin kakiya ayisiniwak, ékosi óma kakiya ka-wahkotowak.”Cree Proverb
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The NCTR is your Centre. The stories and records cared for by the NCTR are a crucial part of the shared history of Canada. Understanding these truths is a vital foundation for the future.
Our mandate ensures Survivors and their families have access to their own history while preserving their truths for all of Canada, for all time.
We provide a safe, trusted and accessible home for all the documents, materials and former student statements collected by the TRC during its mandate. We are also home to a growing collection of other documents and materials related to the history of residential schools, their legacy, and the ongoing efforts of Indigenous peoples to revitalize and restore their diverse cultures and traditions.
By incorporating Indigenous perspectives, values, laws and protocols, we are creating something new — we are striving to decolonize the archive and be built on principles of respect, honesty, wisdom, courage, humility, love and truth.
This is just the beginning.
View Your Records
Explore, learn and engage through the archives of the NCTR — the spiritual heart of the Centre. Discover the vast collection of public documents, photos and reports created, co-created or collected by the TRC as well as our growing archive of more recent gifts.
Preserve Your Records
Preserving and sharing the records and history of Canada’s residential school system is a sacred obligation. The NCTR is a safe and secure space for Indigenous histories and other materials for Indigenous communities. We invite Survivors, their families, and others whose lives have been impacted by residential schools to continue to share your truths and experiences in any form you wish.
Access Your Records
We make more than five million records accessible while respecting privacy and cultural protocols — the materials and level of access vary depending on who is making the request.
Browse the NCTR Shop
Order copies of the Calls to Action booklet, Orange Shirt Day t-shirts, and a variety of NCTR merchandise featuring our logo and its visual message of healing, truth and reconciliation.
NCTR’s spirit name – bezhig miigwan, meaning “one feather”.
Bezhig miigwan calls upon us to see each Survivor coming to the NCTR as a single eagle feather and to show those Survivors the same respect and attention an eagle feather deserves. It also teaches we are all in this together — we are all one, connected, and it is vital to work together to achieve reconciliation.