Article Title

The Validity of Self-Report Measures in Assessing Historical Knowledge: The Case of Canada’s Residential Schools


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) strives to increase public education regarding residential schools. A baseline measure of the public’s residential school knowledge could be useful to evaluate the progress of the TRC. The National Benchmark Survey, Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study, and Canadian Public Opinion on Aboriginal Peoples Report are three existing surveys that provide such a baseline, though each use only self-report measures. We measured residential school knowledge of 2,250 non-Indigenous Canadian undergraduate students through self-report (subjective) and multiple-choice (objective) measures. Analyses revealed a statistically significant correlation between self-reported and objective knowledge of residential schools.


We thank Drs. Stacy Sasaki and Jacquie Vorauer and their research assistants for helping to collect data for this research. We also thank Drs. Danielle Gaucher and Stephen Wright for their comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada supported this research in the form of Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships (767-2012-1748 to G.B.; 766-2012-0101 to K.N.) and a Standard Research Grant (410-2009-2183 to K.S.). Additionally, the University of Manitoba supported this research in the form of an Aboriginal Issues Press Scholarship and a Raymond F. Currie Graduate Fellowship to G.B.. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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