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Memoir

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Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Sagkeeng;

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.

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$19.95

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Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Australian;

This extraordinary story of courage and faith is based on the actual experiences of three girls who fled from the repressive life of Moore River Native Settlement, following along the rabbit-proof fence back to their homelands. Assimilationist policy dictated that these girls be taken from their kin and their homes in order to be made white. Settlement life was unbearable with its chains and padlocks, barred windows, hard cold beds, and horrible food. Solitary confinement was doled out as regular punishment. The girls were not even allowed to speak their language. Of all the journeys made since white people set foot on Australian soil, the journey made by these girls born of Aboriginal mothers and white fathers speaks something to everyone.

Educator Information
Grades 11-12 English First Peoples Resource.

Additional Information
160 pages | 5.00" x 7.75"

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$19.95

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From Lishamie
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Dene;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

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.

Reviews
"From Lishamie focuses on the loss of language, culture, exposure to the land, and brings a stark contrast of life pre- and post-residential schools. This rich and lasting book portrays the fullness of life on the land, the seasons, travelling with the food sources, and community." - Joyce Atcheson

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284 pages | 5.50" x 8.49"

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$22.95

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Gift of Power: The Life and Teachings of a Lakota Medicine Man
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Sioux; Lakota;

With surprising candor, Archie Fire Lame Deer describes the magic and power of the Native American spirit life. Archie's compelling narrative recaptures his boyhood years under the tutelage of his medicine-man grandfather on a South Dakota farm. We follow him from Catholic school runaway to Army misfit, from bartender to boozer, from Hollywood stuntman to chief rattlesnake catcher of the state of South Dakota. And we exult with him when he comes home to the world of spirit.

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$24.95

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L' espace de Louis Goulet
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

When the personal papers of Louis Goulet (1859-1936) were discovered in 1973 researchers found a wealth of observations from a prairie Metis who saw his culture on the verge of change. More than a collection of memoirs, Vanishing Spaces is a plainspoken account of a nation in transition. The title is also available in its original French version, L'Espace de Louis Goulet.

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$10.95

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One Native Life
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg; Ojibway;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

In One Native Life, Wagamese looks back down the road he has travelled in reclaiming his identity and talks about the things he has learned as a human being, a man and an Ojibway in his fifty-two years. Whether he's writing about playing baseball, running away with the circus, attending a sacred bundle ceremony or meeting Pierre Trudeau, he tells these stories in a healing spirit. Through them, he celebrates the learning journey his life has been.

Free of rhetoric and anger despite the horrors he has faced, Wagamese’s prose resonates with a peace that has come from acceptance. Acceptance is an Aboriginal principle, and he has come to see that we are all neighbours here. One Native Life is his tribute to the people, the places and the events that have allowed him to stand in the sunshine and celebrate being alive.

Reviews
"One Native Life contains sixty-five stories that are divided into four books: Ahki (Earth), Ishskwaday (Fire),Nibi (Water), andIshpiming (Universe). From this diverse selection emerge accounts not only of disappointment and racial discrimination but also of the transformative power of love and caring." - Sean Carleton, The British Columbia Quarterly

Educator Information
Suggested Grades: 9-12
ABPBC

Grades 10-12 BC English First Peoples Resource for units on First Peoples' Story and Place-Conscious Learning.

Additional Information
272 pages | 5.63" x 8.75"

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$19.95

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The Sasquatch at Home
Format: Paperback

In March 2010 the Canadian Literature Centre hosted award-winning novelist and storyteller Eden Robinson at the 4th annual Henry Kreisel Lecture. Robinson shared an intimate look into the intricacies of family, culture, and place through her talk, "The Sasquatch at Home." Robinson's disarming honesty and wry irony shine through her depictions of her and her mother's trip to Graceland, the potlatch where she and her sister received their Indian names, how her parents first met in Bella Bella (Waglisla, British Columbia) and a wilderness outing where she and her father try to get a look at b'gwus, the Sasquatch. Readers of memoir, Canadian literature, Aboriginal history and culture, and fans of Robinson's delightful, poignant, sometimes quirky tales will love The Sasquatch at Home.

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$10.95

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They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
Format: Paperback

Like thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada, and elsewhere in the colonized world, Xatsu'll chief Bev Sellars spent part of her childhood as a student in a church-run residential school.

These institutions endeavored to "civilize" Native children through Christian teachings; forced separation from family, language, and culture; and strict discipline. Perhaps the most symbolically potent strategy used to alienate residential school children was addressing them by assigned numbers only-not by the names with which they knew and understood themselves.

In this frank and poignant memoir of her years at St. Joseph's Mission, Sellars breaks her silence about the residential school's lasting effects on her and her family-from substance abuse to suicide attempts-and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. 'Number One' comes at a time of recognition-by governments and society at large-that only through knowing the truth about these past injustices can we begin to redress them.

Awards

  • 2014 Burt Award Third Place Winner

Educator Information
Grades 10-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the unit Place-Conscious Learning - Exploring Text through Local Landscape.

Additional Information
256 pages | 5.67" x 8.20"

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$19.95

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Up From These Hills: Memories of a Cherokee Boyhood
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Native American; Cherokee;

Born into a storied but impoverished family on the reservation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Leonard Carson Lambert Jr.’s candid memoir is a remarkable story and an equally remarkable flouting of the stereotypes that so many tales of American Indian life have engendered.
Up from These Hills provides a grounded, yet poignant, description of what it was like to grow up during the 1930s and 1940s in the mountains of western North Carolina and on a sharecropper’s farm in eastern Tennessee. Lambert straightforwardly describes his independent, hardworking, and stubborn parents; his colorful extended family; his eighth-grade teacher, who recognized his potential and first planted the idea that he might attend college; as well as siblings, schoolmates, and others who shaped his life. He paints a vivid picture of life on the reservation and off, documenting work, family life, education, religion, and more. Up from These Hills also tells the true story of how this family rose from depression-era poverty, a story rarely told about Indian families. With its utterly unique voice, this vivid memoir evokes an unknown yet important part of the American experience, even as it reveals the realities behind Indian experience and rural poverty in the first half of the twentieth century.

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$28.50

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