Memoirs

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Back to the Red Road
Format: Paperback
  • In June 1967, Norway House Indian Residential School of Manitoba closed its doors after a somewhat questionable past. In 1954, when Florence Kaefer was just nineteen, she accepted a job as a teacher at Norway House. Unaware of the difficult conditions the students were enduring, Florence and her fellow teachers nurtured a school full of lonely and homesick young children. After a few years, Florence moved to Vancouver Island with her new husband where she continued to teach, thinking often of the children of Norway House.

    Many years later, after the death of her husband, Florence unexpectedly reconnected with one of her Norway House students, Edward Gamblin. Edward had been only five when he was brought to Norway House and Florence remembered him as a shy and polite young boy. Leaving the school at sixteen, Edward faced some challenges in a world that was both hostile and unfamiliar to him. But Edward found success and solace in his career as a musician, writing songs about the many political issues facing Aboriginal people in Canada. On a trip to Manitoba, Florence discovered Edward's music. She was captivated by his voice, but shocked to hear him singing about the abuse he and the other children had been subjected to at Norway House.

    Motivated to apologize on behalf of the school and her colleagues, Florence contacted Edward. "Yes, I remember you and I accept your apology," Edward told her. "Reconciliation will not be one grand, finite act. It will be a multitude of small acts and gestures played out between individuals." The story of their personal reconciliation is both heartfelt and heartbreaking as Edward begins to share his painful truths with his family, Florence and the media. Three years after Edward's death in in 2010, Florence has continued to advocate for truth and reconciliation. BACK TO THE RED ROAD is more than one man's story: it is the story of our nation and how healing can begin, one friendship, one apology at a time.

$24.95

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Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir
Format: Paperback
  • 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.

$19.95

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From Lishamie
Author: Albert Canadien
Traditional Territory: Dene
Format: Paperback
  • 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 author—and many like him—was robbed of his language, community and traditional way of living. From Lishamie is a candid memoir of loss and of the journey back.

$22.95

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Half Breed
Author: Maria Campbell
Format: Paperback
  • Maria Cambpell's biography is a classic, vital account of a young Metis woman's struggle to come to terms with the joys, sorrows, loves and tragedies of her northern Saskatchewan childhood.

    Maria was a strong and sensitive child who lived in a community robbed of its pride and dignity by the dominant culture. At 15 she tried in vain to escape by marrying a white man, only to find herself trapped in the slums of Vancouver; addicted to drugs, tempted by suicide, close to death. But the inspiration of her Cree great-grandmother, Cheechum, gives her confidence in herself and in her people, confidence she needs to survive and to thrive.

    Half-Breed offers an unparalleled understanding of the Metis people and of the racism and hatred they face. Maria Campbell's story cannot be denied and it cannot be forgotten: it stands as a challenge to all Canadians who believe in human rights and human dignity

$14.95

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Living in Two Worlds: A Gwich'in Women Tells Her True Story
Format: Paperback
  • The story of an aboriginal woman born on the trap line near Tsiigehtchic, Northwest Territories, 1935. See life on the land through Terry's young eyes.
    Travel by dog team with her grandparents who adopted her. You will understand how she felt loved living in the remote wilderness . She lived with all that was wild and free. Never lacking anything she had fresh air,sky,hills,valleys,rivers,lakes,nature and animals. Her people were rich in traditional food, good health and freedom.

    Maps,pictures illustrations legends,and stories make the north come alive The reader learns, of the values and spiritual teachings, they taught her to respect.

    We learn of her sadness and losses in Residential School

    Here nuns and priests were unsuccessful trying to break Terry's cultural spirit.

$48.95

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Nena
Author: Irene Young
Traditional Territory: Cree
Format: Paperback
  • This is the story of Nena.

    Nena is the Cree word for "me" and this book is Irene Young's story of her search for "knowing nena."

    Nena's story begins with her carefree childhood and adolescence in the community of Opaskwayak Cree Nation, and continues on through the intergenerational effects of residential school trauma. The book concludes with Nena's elder phase and profiles of her helpers, to whom she is passing on the traditional teachings of her people.

$24.95

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Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation
Traditional Territory: Métis
Format: Paperback
  • Canada's relationship with its Indigenous people has suffered as a result of both the residential school system and the lack of understanding of the historical and current impact of those schools. Healing and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness and increased understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt by Survivors and their families. Guided by acclaimed Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith, readers will learn about the lives of Survivors and listen to allies who are putting the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into action.

Authentic Canadian Content
$29.95

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The Education of Augie Merasty
Format: Paperback
  • The Education of Augie Merasty offers a courageous and intimate chronicle of life in a residential school.

    Now a retired fisherman and trapper, Joseph A. (Augie) Merasty was one of an estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children who were taken from their families and sent to government-funded, church-run schools, where they were subjected to a policy of "aggressive assimiliation."

    As Merasty recounts, these schools did more than attempt to mold children in the ways of white society. They were taught to be ashamed of their native heritage and, as he experienced, often suffered physical and sexual abuse.

    Even as he looks back on this painful part of his childhood, Merasty’s generous and authentic voice shines through.

$21.95

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You Will Wear a White Shirt
Format: Hardcover
  • The compelling autobiography of Nick Sibbeston, residential school survivor and one of the North’s most influential leaders.

    Growing up in a remote Northern community, Nick Sibbeston had little reason to believe he would one day fulfill his mother’s ambition of holding a career where he would “wear a white shirt.” Torn away from his family and placed in residential school at the age of five, Sibbeston endured loneliness, callous treatment and sexual assault by an older boy, but discovered a love of learning that would compel him to complete a law degree and pursue a career in politics.

    As a young, firebrand politician, Sibbeston played an instrumental role during a critical moment in Northwest Territories politics, advocating tirelessly to support the economic and political development of First Nations people in the North, and participating in early discussions of the separation of Nunavut. Sibbeston’s career advanced in great strides, first as an MLA, then one of Canada’s first Aboriginal lawyers, then as a cabinet minister and eventually premier of the Northwest Territories. Finally, he was appointed to the Senate of Canada, where he continues to represent the people of Canada’s North, not least in advocating for the generations affected by residential school policies.

    Although his years at residential school compelled Sibbeston to fight tirelessly for the rights of Aboriginal northerners, they also left a mark on his mental health, fuelling continual battles with anxiety, depression and addiction. It was only in later life that healing began to take place, as he battled his demons openly, supported not just by the medical community but also by his strong faith and the love of his wife and family.

    Nick Sibbeston is a lawyer, distinguished member of the Northwest Territories (NWT) Legislative Assembly and a former premier. In 1970, Mr. Sibbeston was elected to a four-year term on the North West Territorial Council. And from 1979–91, he was elected to the NWT Legislative Assembly. Sibbeston has worked for the Government of NWT as Justice Specialist and as a Public Administrator for Deh Cho Health & Social Services and served four years on the Canadian Human Rights Panel/Tribunal. He is a current member of the Senate committees on Aboriginal Peoples, and Energy, Environment and Natural Resources. Mr. Sibbeston and his wife, Karen, live in Fort Simpson, NWT.

$32.95

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