Canada’s Dark Secret is a harrowing documentary that dives deep into Canada’s shameful history of Indigenous residential schools. These schools were established by the government through the Indian Act of 1876, and forcibly removed Indigenous children from their homes and families in an attempt to assimilate them into “civilized” society. As survivors revisit these forgotten hallways and bedrooms, they recount the countless horrors that they experienced during their formative years.
In these now-barren classrooms, Roberta Hill remembers being just six years old when she was taken away from her family. She endured strict discipline and punishments, many of which she still feels the effects of today. Other survivors share stories of friends who are suspected to have been beaten and buried on school grounds; Bud Whiteye recalls his kidnapping as a young boy and being abused by members of the staff in the boiler room. Despite these schools closing late in the 90s, their wounds remain for all those affected—and for generations to come.
In addition to personal testimonies, Canada’s Dark Secret also features archival footage and interviews with experts on this dark period in Canadian history. It sheds light on a past that has been shrouded in silence for too long, providing much-needed catharsis to victims and those complicit alike. For anyone looking to gain an understanding of this part of Canadian history, Canada’s Dark Secret is an essential watch—one that may inspire viewers with its tragic stories to take action against racism and oppression in our world today.