MARCH 14, 1879


After the passage of the first Indian Act in 1876, the federal government focused on Indian education. In 1879, the Prime Minister commissioned a study of the internal workings of the Industrial Boarding schools in the United States and sent Nicolas Flood Davin to study the advisability of establishing similar institutions in the North-West territories of Canada. Davin reviewed Boarding Schools at the Cheyenne, Arapaho and White Earth (Minnesota) Agencies and at Hampton, Virginia, as well as schools set up in the “Indian Territory.” Davin was impressed and his report strongly endorsed creating such schools. His main recommendation was that wherever the missionaries have schools, the Government should contract to utilize those schools. Davin also recommended that parents be induced to send their children to school with extra rations. Davin reported that in the United States Indian Education was used as a vehicle to force assimilation and that they were quite effective in deconstructing young Indians.

Source: “The Davin Report, 1879,” Nishnawbe Aski Nation.  Retrieved 6/8/2021, - The Davin Report, 1879 (
Photo: Unknown, circa 1885. Qu'Appelle Indian Industrial School, Saskatchewan. Public Domain. Source: Library and Archives of Canada under the reproduction reference number PA-182246 and under the MIKAN ID number 3194883.

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