Home / Accueil

EDMONTON RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL

St. Albert, Alberta, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1983/10/06

School building and grounds, Indian Residential School, Edmonton, Alta.] / Rev. J.F. Woodsworth, Edmonton, Alta., [between 1925 and 1936
; United Church of Canada/Victoria University Archives 93.049P/887 N
Edmonton Residential School, St. Albert
Woodsworth House; Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management
Edmonton Residential School, St. Albert
Marie Peters House; Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management
Edmonton Residential School, St. Albert

Other Name(s)

Poundmaker Lodge
Nechi Centre
EDMONTON RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1924/01/01 to 1924/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/02/05

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Edmonton Residential School site comprises four historically significant buildings - three brick-clad residences and a brick stable/garage. The Woodsworth House is a two and one half-storey building featuring a covered verandah and stucco-filled half-timbering in the front and rear gable ends. The Cardinal House is a two-storey building with a gable roof, boxed cornice eaves, and decorative vertical wood planks separating the two storeys and embellishing the front and rear gable ends. The Marie Peters House is a two and one half-storey building featuring dark red-brick cladding, a hip roof with dormers, and a front verandah sheltered by a gable roof with stucco-filled half-timbering. The stable/garage is a two and one half-storey building with a red-brick exterior, gable roof with dormers, and two large bay doors on the ground level. All the historic buildings on the site were constructed circa 1924. The buildings are situated on approximately twenty hectares of land located roughly three kilometres north-east of the City of St. Albert. Also present on the site is a large new facility constructed in 1984. In 2000, the historic former residential school on the site burned down.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Edmonton Residential School site lies in its association with the Native residential schools system in Alberta.

In the 1880s, the federal government and Canada's major religious denominations began collaboration on a system of residential schooling intended to acculturate Native tribes to Euro-Canadian culture and to initiate them into agricultural and industrial life. Residential schools were particularly abundant on the Prairies; by 1935, Alberta possessed more residential schools than any other Canadian province. One of the earliest residential schools established in present-day Alberta was founded by the Methodists at Red Deer and opened in 1893. From its inception, the school was plagued by overcrowding, poor sanitation, disease, and the growing distrust of the institution among Native communities. In 1919, the principal of the Red Deer Industrial School, J. F. Woodsworth - brother of the famed Social Gospeller J. S. Woodsworth - decided to abandon the deteriorating facility and establish a new school near Edmonton. Funding shortfalls hampered construction of the new institution and it did not open until 1924. Initially, the new school operated like most other industrial residential schools, offering technical training for boys and domestic education for girls. The Edmonton Residential School was, however, distinguished by its practice of yearly transporting students from places as distant as Hazleton and Prince Rupert in British Columbia to the institution. The facilities continued to operate as a residential school complex until 1957, when changing Canadian conceptions of Native culture and assimilationist policies were challenging the ideology of the industrial schools. Between 1957 and the late 1960s, the institution served as a residence for students attending school at Jasper Place. The Edmonton Residential School site was acquired by the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission in the 1970s for use as a rehabilitation facility.

In 2000, the main facility at the Edmonton Residential School site - the former school and residence - burned down. Nonetheless, several buildings are still extant on the site, including three residences for the principal and staff members, as well as a stable/garage used for instruction. These buildings recall the site's history as a residential school.

Source: Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 1151)

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Edmonton Residential School site include such features as:

Site:
- spatial relationships between the buildings.

Woodsworth House:
- mass, form, and scale;
- red-brick exterior;
- gable roof with brick chimney;
- stucco-filled half-timbering in front and rear gable ends;
- boxed cornice eaves;
- closed verandah;
- flat arches and sills;
- fenestration pattern;
- pressed tin ceilings;
- original interior elements, including hardwood floors, doors, trims, baseboards, mouldings, and hardware.

Cardinal House:
- mass, form, and scale;
- red-brick exterior;
- gable roof with brick chimney;
- boxed cornice eaves;
- decorative vertical wood planks separating the two storeys and embellishing the front and rear gable ends;
- projecting window sills.

Marie Peters House:
- mass, form, and scale;
- dark red-brick cladding;
- hip roof with a three-windowed dormer on front elevation and a brick chimney;
- front verandah sheltered by a gable roof with stucco-infilled half-timbering and supported by square columns;
- original interior elements, including staircase newel posts and banisters, French doors into living room, and fireplace.

Stable/Garage:
- mass, form, and scale;
- red-brick exterior;
- double dormer window on front elevation;
- voussoirs;
- two large bay doors;
- stalls in the basement;
- blackboard on second floor.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Alberta

Recognition Authority

Province of Alberta

Recognition Statute

Historical Resources Act

Recognition Type

Provincial Historic Resource

Recognition Date

1983/10/06

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type

Current

Health and Research
Clinic

Historic

Education
Special or Training School
Residence
Group Residence

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Alberta Culture, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (File: Des. 1151)

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

4665-0461

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

SEARCH THE CANADIAN REGISTER

Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Find Nearby PlacesFIND NEARBY PLACES PrintPRINT
Nearby Places