Since the manifestation of 'manual labour schools' in the 1840s through the 1950s, a distinguishing feature of the residential school system was their use of the half-day system. This model was devised by the Methodist Cleric, and school superintendent for the future Ontario, Egerton Ryerson. The theory behind this system was that half the day should be dedicated to curriculum studies and the other half should be spent learning trades, such as farming, blacksmithing and other skills deemed useful to Euro-Canadian economy. The objective of this system was "to give a plain English education adapted to the working farmer and mechanic," while also allowing the schools to be self-sufficient after a few years "with judicious management."
Bear, Shirley, Funk, Jack, and Saskatoon District Tribal Council. "...And They Told Us Their Stories": A Book of Indian Stories. Saskatoon: Saskatoon District Tribal Council, 1991.
Miller, J. R. Shingwauk's Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools. Toronto; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1996.
Milloy, John S. A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879 to 1986. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, 1999. 169-173.