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Len Fortune , 2011
This mini book is not meant to be accusatory, but is designed to put the basic facts/ truths down in simple words and design, providing an Aboriginal primer.
A is for assimilation, although blunt in its approach, is aimed at teens and anyone who isn’t familiar with the basic history of the nation’s First People.
John S. Milloy , 1999
“I am going to tell you how we are treated. I am always hungry.” — Edward B., a student at Onion Lake School (1923)
“[I]f I were appointed by the Dominion Government for the express purpose of spreading tuberculosis, there is nothing finer in existence than the average Indian residential school.” — N. Walker, Indian Affairs Superintendent (1948)
For over 100 years, thousands of Aboriginal children passed through the Canadian residential school system. Begun in the 1870s, it was intended, in the words of government officials, to bring these children into the “circle of civilization,” the results, however, were far different. More often, the schools provided an inferior education in an atmosphere of neglect, disease, and often abuse.
Using previously unreleased government documents, historian John S. Milloy provides a full picture of the history and reality of the residential school system. He begins by tracing the ideological roots of the system, and follows the paper trail of internal memoranda, reports from field inspectors, and letters of complaint. In the early decades, the system grew without planning or restraint. Despite numerous critical commissions and reports, it persisted into the 1970s, when it transformed itself into a social welfare system without improving conditions for its thousands of wards. A National Crime shows that the residential system was chronically underfunded and often mismanaged, and documents in detail and how this affected the health, education, and well-being of entire generations of Aboriginal children.
Terry Galvin , 2002
For over 100 years, the Oblates of Mary Immaculate operated St. Mary's Mission, a residential school near Mission, BC. Now the stories of its former students are told for the first time. In Amongst God's Own, acclaimed writer Terry Glavin has woven the accounts of 35 native elders into a bold, uncompromising narrative of life at St. Mary's.
Sitting with the Oblates arrival and their establishment of the Mission on the Fraser River, Glavin tracks the chronology of St. Mary's through the 20th century, revealing the Order's religious, political, and social underpinnings. Native voices recount the realities of day to day life at the school. Moving beyond the prevalent discourse of oppression and victimhood, the result is a ground breaking portrait of this place and time that illuminates 200 years of Native white interaction in BC.
Enhancing the stories are 60 photos culled from personal and archival collections. Amongst God's Own is a unique record of a people at a crossroads, caught in a clash between government and religious authority whose consequences reverberate to this day.
James Bartleman , 2011
From the accomplished memoirist and former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario comes a first novel of incredible heart and spirit for every Canadian.
The novel follows one girl, Martha, from the Cat Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario who is "stolen" from her family at the age of six and flown far away to residential school. She doesn't speak English but is punished for speaking her native language; most terrifying and bewildering, she is also "fed" to the school's attendant priest with an attraction to little girls.
Ten long years later, Martha finds her way home again, barely able to speak her native tongue. The memories of abuse at the residential school are so strong that she tries to drown her feelings in drink, and when she gives birth to her beloved son, Spider, he is taken away by Children's Aid to Toronto. In time, she has a baby girl, Raven, whom she decides to leave in the care of her mother while she braves the bewildering strangeness of the big city to find her son and bring him home.
Agnes Jack , 2006
Behind Closed Doors features written testimonials from 32 individuals who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School. The school was one of many infamous residential schools that operated from 1893 to 1979. The storytellers remember and share with us their stolen time at the school; many stories are told through courageous tears.
Joseph Boyden , 2008
Almost a decade after its original publication, award winner and Governor General Literary Award nominee Joseph Boyden's classic book of short stories is finally being reissued. Born With A Tooth, Boyden's debut work of fiction, is a collection of thirteen beautifully written stories about aboriginal life in Ontario. They are stories of love, unexpected triumph, and a passionate belief in dreams. They are also stories of anger and longing, of struggling to adapt, of searching but remaining unfulfilled. The collection includes 'Bearwalker', a story that introduces a character who appears again in Boyden's novel Three Day Road. By taking on a new voice in each story, Joseph Boyden explores aboriginal stereotypes and traditions in a most unexpected way. Whether told by a woman trying to forget her past or by a drunken man trying to preserve his culture, each story paints an unforgettable and varied image of modern aboriginal culture in Ontario. An extraordinary first book, Born With A Tooth reveals why Joseph Boyden is a writer worth reading.
Theodore Fontaine , 2010
Theodore Fontaine lost his family and freedom just after his seventh birthday, when his parents were forced to leave him at an Indian residential school by order of the Roman Catholic Church and the Government of Canada. Twelve years later, he left school frozen at the emotional age of seven. He was confused, angry and conflicted, on a path of self-destruction. At age 29, he emerged from this blackness. By age 32, he had graduated from the Civil Engineering Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and begun a journey of self-exploration and healing.
In this powerful and poignant memoir, Theodore examines the impact of his psychological, emotional and sexual abuse, the loss of his language and culture, and, most important, the loss of his family and community. He goes beyond details of the abuses of Native children to relate a unique understanding of why most residential school survivors have post-traumatic stress disorders and why succeeding generations of First Nations children suffer from this dark chapter in history.
Told as remembrances described with insights that have evolved through his healing, his story resonates with his resolve to help himself and other residential school survivors and to share his enduring belief that one can pick up the shattered pieces and use them for good.
Giles Benaway , 2012
Ceremonies for the Dead examines the haunting themes of inter-generational trauma, cyclical abuse and inherited grief. Four generations of the dead take turns narrating these themes, navigating from the Great Lakes through the Appalachian Mountains, and examining the fur trade, an exile from Minnesota, the experiences of West Virginia coal miners, and the legacy of mission schools. Black humour and satire fill the collection, illuminating a fierce determination to survive and resist colonization and the endurance of culture and identity under extreme duress.
Ceremonies for the Dead is the debut book of poetry written by Giles Benaway.
Lisa Shatzky , 2011
“These poems are placed like cold steel beds lined up row upon row. Visceral. Lisa Shatzky writes in gunmetal residue—evidence bagged from Canada’s largest crime scene of the Residential School era. As she opened the vaulted doors into each child’s memory, she was slashed by tormented truth, laughter at lost blood, lost stories. In this collection, you’ll witness bruised stones, shattered sparrow prayers, an eight year old playing dead, the blue above, blue below a man about to jump. All the while in the room where you read, ghost dancers’ shadows emerge through thick walls. Watching blood and ink mix. Waiting to be fed. Waiting to be invited in.” — Sandra Lynn Lynxleg, child of a Residential School Survivor and District Principal of Aboriginal Education, School District 22 Vernon
Lynda Gray , 2011
First Nations 101 is an easy to read primer that provides readers with a broad overview of the diverse and complex lives of First Nations people. It is packed with more than 70 subjects including veterans, youth, urbanization, child welfare, appropriate questions to ask a First Nations person, feminism, the medicine wheel, Two-spirit (LGBTQ), residential schools, the land bridge theory, and language preservation. Author Lynda Gray endeavors to leave readers with a better understanding of the shared history of First Nations and non-First Nations people, and ultimately calls upon all of us - individuals, communities, and governments - to play active roles in bringing about true reconciliation between First Nations and non-First Nations people.
Albert Canadien , 2010
With astonishing detail, Albert Canadien fondly recounts his boyhood years in Lishamie, a traditional Dene camp north of the Mackenzie River, and reflects on the devastating and long-lasting impact residential schooling had on him, his family and his people. Separated at a young age from his parents and forced to attend a strict Catholic boarding school, the authorâ€”and many like himâ€”was robbed of his language, community and traditional way of living. From Lishamie is a candid memoir of loss and of the journey back.
Richard Wagamese , 2012
Saul Indian Horse is dying. Tucked away in a hospice high above the clash and clang of a big city, he embarks on a marvellous journey of imagination back through the life he led as a northern Ojibway, with all its sorrows and joys. With compassion and insight, author Richard Wagamese traces through his fictional characters the decline of a culture and a cultural way. For Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family when he's sent to residential school, salvation comes for a while through his incredible gifts as a hockey player. But in the harsh realities of 1960s Canada, he battles obdurate racism and the spirit-destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement. Indian Horse unfolds against the bleak loveliness of northern Ontario, all rock, marsh, bog and cedar. Wagamese writes with a spare beauty, penetrating the heart of a remarkable Ojibway man. Drawing on his great-grandfather's mystical gift of vision, Saul Indian Horse comes to recognize the influence of everyday magic on his own life. In this wise and moving novel, Richard Wagamese shares that gift of magic with readers as well.
Ward Churchill , 2004
For five consecutive generations, from roughly 1880–1980, Native American children in the United States and Canada were forcibly taken from their families and relocated to residential schools. The stated goal of this government program was to “kill the Indian to save the man.” Half of the children did not survive the experience, and those who did were left permanently scarred. The resulting alcoholism, suicide, and the transmission of trauma to their own children has led to a social disintegration with results that can only be described as genocidal.Ward Churchill is the author of A Little Matter of Genocide, among other books. He is currently a Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Sam McKegney , 2007
The legacy of the residential school system ripples throughout Native Canada, its fingerprints on the domestic violence, poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, and suicide rates that continue to cripple many Native communities. Magic Weapons is the first major survey of Indigenous writings on the residential school system, and provides groundbreaking readings of life writings by Rita Joe (Mi’kmaq) and Anthony Apakark Thrasher (Inuit) as well as in-depth critical studies of better known life writings by Basil Johnston (Ojibway) and Tomson Highway (Cree). Magic Weapons examines the ways in which Indigenous survivors of residential school mobilize narrative in their struggles for personal and communal empowerment in the shadow of attempted cultural genocide. By treating Indigenous life-writings as carefully crafted aesthetic creations and interrogating their relationship to more overtly politicized historical discourses, Sam McKegney argues that Indigenous life-writings are culturally generative in ways that go beyond disclosure and recompense, re-envisioning what it means to live and write as Indigenous individuals in post-residential school Canada.
Brent Stonefish , 2007
The residential school system in Canada continues to have a significant impact on Aboriginal people. We continue to struggle with the trauma of this unwanted legacy.
In this book, we take a look at the history but focus on the intergenerational impacts that exist today from the residential school system. These lasting impacts affect learning, education, and family relations.
“Moving Beyond” highlights positive approaches and paths to healing and promotes the development of healthy individuals, families and communities.