skip to content

font size: S M L

Construction of Schools


- Nishnawbe Aski Nation Indian Residential Schools in Ontario, 2005 -

Many of the schools had been poorly constructed when they were first established and this led to problems at a later date when numerous repairs had to be made. One of the reasons for the poor construction of the schools was often related to an underestimate of costs necessary to construct a building of the size that was suitable to accommodate a large number of children. For example, estimates of the Department’s Superintendent of Education to build a suitable structure was $75,000. The principal of the school, however, thought the estimate was too high and indicated that “building is much cheaper, and I am quite sure a suitable building could be erected for $40,000.00. We do not need a palace, but comfortable suitable quarters”[1]. Of course, not long after the school had been built several problems started to appear, which were directly related to the initial cost of the structure and the quality of materials that had been used.

[1] RG 10, Vol. 6206, File 468-5, part 4. Letter S. R. McVitty, Principal, Mount Elgin Indian Residential School to Duncan C. Scott, Deputy Superintendent General of Indian Affairs, March 7, 1922.