Kitimaat Residential School (Elizabeth Long Memorial Home) Timeline
Charles Amos, a Haisla man, converts to Christianity in Victoria and brings the new religion to his home, Kitamaat Village. He provides lay services and limited schooling for the village children.
A day school is set up under direction of the Methodist Church, with the teacher’s salary paid by the Department of Indian Affairs.
Reverend George Raley erects a temporary boarding house for schoolgirls between the mission house and the day school. Boys are housed in the day school.
Twenty-two children from eight to 16 years of age are in residence.
A new mission house is built that will also serve as a “home” for Kitamaat children.
Elizabeth Long, of Toronto, is sent by the Women’s Missionary Society to run the home.
Thirty children are in residence, 20 sleeping in the mission house and 10 in an out building.
The Women’s Missionary Society takes over management of the home and decides that it should only board girls.
The Kitamaat Band donates a site for a new building and makes an annual contribution of wood and food.
There is an eight-week flu epidemic.
A garden is established and hens kept.
The home burns down May 20, and the girls are sent home.
For the canning season, while their parents are away, they are housed in the
mission house, the temperance hall and the day school.
Elizabeth Long dies from complications after surgery.
New day school and residential school buildings are constructed.
Elizabeth Long Memorial Home opens December 10.
The residential school now accepts boys up to 12 years of age.
Twenty-seven children are admitted.
The Department of Indian Affairs agrees to provide a per capita grant of $100 for up to 20 children and recognizes the Elizabeth Long Memorial Home as a residential school as of April 1.
A dorm with 12 beds is added in the attic, making room for 30 children.
The residence is given class “A” status, raising the per capita grant to $125, as of April 1.
The garden is expanded to one acre.
Fire escapes are installed.
A nurse (field matron) is appointed to attend both the school and the village.
The first non-Haisla children — six Nuxalk girls from Bella Coola — arrive at the home.
In March, staff worker Margaret Butcher writes that eight children from the home have died in the last seven months.
Spanish influenza hits the school, followed by whooping cough later in the year. In both cases, almost every child falls ill. Two children die at the school, and one is sent home to die.
A mother retrieves her dying son from the school.
The death of child Hannah (Maitland) Grant prompts Kitamaat parents to withdraw their children from the residence and leads to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation. Parents report that of schoolgirls attending since the home’s establishment, 49 are dead and 50 alive.
Summer holidays are extended from one month to two because families travel to the canneries for the season and the children do not return in time for school.
Fire escapes are installed for the attic dorm.
Following complaints, the water is tested and found to be of good quality.
In the 1930s children from more distant communities (Bella Bella, Namu, Klemtu, Kitasoo) also attend the residential school.
The junior girls’ dorm does not have its own fire escape; the Indian Department refuses to pay for a new one.
Village children are turned away from the overcrowded day school; residential school children get preference.
The Department of Indian Affairs approves the Board of Home Missions’s request to send boys from Kitimaat Residential School to Coqualeetza when they reach 10 years of age instead of 12 as previously.
The Delco plant and engine house burn down.
The Department of Indian Affairs constructs a new two-room day school and plans to close the residential
In November, a half-day system is instituted for the remainder of the school year to deal with overcrowding in the classroom.
Elizabeth Long Memorial Home closes June 30.
The Women’s Missionary Society sells the residence building to the Athletic Club of Kitamaat.