Truths of
Past and Present

A collection of voices sharing the truths of institutionalization in Canada, from the 1800s to present day.

“Nobody who lived there and got out has ever said, ‘Boy, I’d really like to go back and live there again.’ Nobody. Not one. That tells you something.”

— Bill Hogarth, Saskatchewan Survivor

The Truths of Institutionalization in Canada

View this video trailer to preview key highlights of the curriculum.

About This Project

The name of this project is Truths of Institutionalization: Past and Present. The purpose of this project is to create awareness, promote respect and encourage reflection on the human rights of people who have an intellectual disability in Canada.

The goal of this project is to engage young Canadians in conversations that raise awareness about the importance of community and inclusion. It does this by providing learning resources that explore the evolution of institutions and human rights in Canada. Specifically, visitors will hear first-hand experiences from survivors, study evidence-based research and explore the power of citizenship and social movements. We hope these efforts will help end the use of institutional models and practices today and in the future.

Explore Our Modules

Nicole is a 19-year-old college student who travels across Canada in search of answers. She shares stories of survival, looks for historical evidence, and visits key locations that symbolize the tragic legacy of institutionalization in Canada. Each module follows Nicole’s journey and is also an opportunity to do your own research to understand the evolution of human rights in Canada.

The content and course material on this website may cause distress to individuals who have experienced certain traumatic life events.

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Youth Perspectives

Youth across Canada have been moved by survivors’ stories. Read their reflections in Sincerely, Youth Trying To Stop History From Repeating Itself.

Learn More

Teacher Resources

Are you looking for new content for next year’s course material? Use this teaching resource to take part in a national, youth-led conversation on human rights and inclusion!

Find Resources


Inclusion Canada Community Living Ontario People First of Canada


The Government of Canada