Fall/automne 2010
Articles

Industrious, but Formal and Mechanical: The Sisters of Charity of Providence in Residential School Classrooms

E Brian Titley
Education University of Lethbridge
Bio
Published January 7, 2011
Keywords
  • Aboriginal Education,
  • Missionary Schools,
  • Nuns as Teachers
How to Cite
Titley, E Brian. 2011. “Industrious, But Formal and Mechanical: The Sisters of Charity of Providence in Residential School Classrooms”. Historical Studies in Education / Revue d’histoire De l’éducation 22 (2). https://historicalstudiesineducation.ca/hse/index.php/edu_hse-rhe/article/view/2403.

Abstract

During the 1940s and 1950s the classrooms at St. Martin's (Wabasca) and St. Bruno's (Joussard) residential schools for First Nations' children in northern Alberta were staffed by the Sisters of Charity of Providence, a religious community that specialized in caring for the sick and elderly. In this essay the effectiveness of the sisters as teachers is examined in the context of a missionary/reformatory model of schooling that was rapidly falling into disfavour. A picture emerges of a hard-working group of women whose lack of education and teacher training hampered their ability to meet the needs of their students.