The Round Lake Indian Residential School (1888 – 1950) was operated by the Presbyterian Church (Foreign Mission Society and later Board of Home Missions) until 1925. The United Church of Canada operated the school from 1926 until its closure in 1950. Enrollment went from 10 students in 1884 to its peak 77 students in 1942. The school was located at the east end of Round Lake, on the north side of the Qu’Appelle River, across from Ochapowace Indian Reserve in Treaty 4 territory. Reverend Hugh McKay was principal from 1884 to 1921. The school had started out as a one-room log cabin on the Qu’Appelle River in 1884 and had closed due to the Northwest Resistance of 1885. By 1888, Mckay had expanded the original one-room log cabin school to accommodate a capacity for 50 students and had applied for funding from the government. A number of Métis and white children were admitted to this school.
Death of Percy Ochapawace
Lucy Affleck’s Letters
Mrs. Ross (senior teacher and wife of principal) also Criticized the Half Day System.
In 1936 Mrs. Ross also criticized the half-day system. She wrote, “a half day at school, and no study periods outside school hours is insufficient for those pupils in Grade Eight, where they are faced with a Departmental exam.” It was not possible, she wrote, to cover the material or “give the amount of drill work needed to give them a thorough grasp of their work.” Ross stated that over the past 12 years, only 18 of the students had passed their Grade 8 examination. The problem the students faced, she felt, was not one of ability, but of time and resources. She pointed out that Indian Affairs did not provide the school with copies of the authorized primer for students in Saskatchewan, choosing instead to substitute a different book. In 1937, Mary sought permission to keep several of the older girls in class morning and afternoon so they might finish their studies and attend high school. Indian Affairs responded that while girls with special aptitude should be encouraged to study, “in the majority of cases, it is felt that it is preferable to devote the last year or two of their school life to work which will prepare them for looking after their homes.”