NEW BOOK (2020): ”Indian Residential School and Christian Mission”

“Indian Residential School and Christian Mission” is a book written by David Gyeong Han that explores the history of Indian Residential Schools in Canada and their relationship to the Christian mission. Indian Residential Schools were a network of boarding schools established by the Canadian government and run by various Christian denominations from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century. The schools were designed to assimilate Indigenous children into Canadian society and culture, and many students experienced physical, emotional, and sexual abuse while at the schools.

In his book, David Gyeong Han examines the historical and theological motivations behind the creation of Indian Residential Schools, as well as the ways in which the schools were perceived by Indigenous communities and Christian missionaries. He also explores the ongoing impact of the schools on Indigenous peoples and their communities, including the ongoing intergenerational trauma experienced by many Indigenous families as a result of the schools.

By exploring the history of Indian Residential Schools and their relationship to the Christian mission, David Gyeong Han provides a critical examination of the role of Christianity in the colonization and oppression of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The book is an important contribution to the ongoing conversation about the history and legacy of Indian Residential Schools and the role of Christianity in their creation and perpetuation.


During the colonial period, prompted by the expansion ambitions of Western Europe, the system represented by the rapid assimilation of colonies and the policy of Christianization was the Indian Residential School. At the same time, the primary framework of Western Europeans’ racial thinking was influenced by social Darwinism and influenced background based on Christian missionary policy and practice. Most Indian Residential Schools were run by Christian denominations or churches that had been allocated government funds. The Indigenous students who went to residential schools first came across Christianity there. Also, Christian religious education was an essential part of the school curriculum. However, the Christianization of students through residential schools resulted in mixed outcomes, contrary to the expectations of the missionary policy of boarding schools. The discussions in this study are to study the impact of the Indian Residential School on the formation of a Christian understanding among the Nuu-chah-nulth people. The primary question addressed is ‘How do historical encounter and experience from colonial residential schools influence their understanding of Christianity?’ Since its first establishment in the mid-1800s, Indigenous peoples in Canada have attended residential schools for over a hundred years. Their Christian identities were formed and influenced by their experience in their residential schools.

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[1] Herbert Spencer, 1820-1903

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