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The education of Augie Merasty: a residential school memoir (The regina Collection)
By David Carpenter, Joseph Auguste Merasty. 2015
Joseph (Augie) Merasty was one of 150,000 children taken from their families and sent to residential schools. Merasty takes readers…inside his time at residential school, where he was taught to be ashamed of his family and his culture and where he experienced emotional and physical abuse. But even as he looks back on this painful part of his childhood, Merasty’s sense of humour and warm voice shine through. 2015.
By Richard Wagamese. 2012
Saul Indian Horse is dying in a hospice, remembering the life he led as a northern Ojibway. 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. Some descriptions of sex and violence, some strong language. Winner of CODE's Burt Award for First Nations, Méris, and Inuit Literature. Bestseller. 2012.
A guide to understanding the Indian Act and its impact on generations of Indigenous Peoples, as well as an examination…of how Indigenous Peoples can return to self-government, self-determination, and self-reliance. Bestseller. Winner of the 2019 Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award. 2018.
Indigenous relations: insights, tips & suggestions to make reconciliation a reality /
By Robert P. C. Joseph. 2019
We are all treaty people. But what are the everyday impacts of treaties, and how can we effectively work toward…reconciliation if we're worried our words and actions will unintentionally cause harm? Hereditary chief and leading Indigenous relations trainer Bob Joseph is your guide to respecting cultural differences and improving your personal relationships and business interactions with Indigenous Peoples. Practical and inclusive, Indigenous Relations interprets the difference between hereditary and elected leadership, and why it matters; explains the intricacies of Aboriginal Rights and Title, and the treaty process; and demonstrates the lasting impact of the Indian Act, including the barriers that Indigenous communities face and the truth behind common myths and stereotypes perpetuated since Confederation. Indigenous Relations equips you with the necessary knowledge to respectfully avoid missteps in your work and daily life, and offers an eight-part process to help business and government work more effectively with Indigenous Peoples--benefiting workplace culture as well as the bottom line. 2019.
In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience (The Regina Collection #11)
By Helen Knott. 2019
A nationally bestselling book on the struggle of addiction and the power of Indigenous resilience. Helen Knott, a highly accomplished…Indigenous woman, seems to have it all. But in her memoir, she offers a different perspective. In My Own Moccasins is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption. With gripping moments of withdrawal, times of spiritual awareness, and historical insights going back to the signing of Treaty 8 by her great-great grandfather, Chief Bigfoot, her journey exposes the legacy of colonialism, while reclaiming her spirit. "In My Own Moccasins never flinches. The story goes dark, and then darker. We live in an era where Indigenous women routinely go missing, our youth are killed and disposed of like trash, and the road to justice doesn’t seem to run through the rez. Knott’s journey is familiar, filled with the fallout of residential school, racial injustice, alcoholism, drugs, and despair. But she skillfully draws us along and opens up her life, her family, and her communities to show us a way forward. It’s the best kind of memoir: clear-eyed, generous, and glorious….Bear witness to the emergence of one of the most powerful voices of her generation." —Eden Robinson, author of Son of a Trickster and Monkey Beach (from the foreword) “Helen Knott speaks truth to the experience of Indigenous women living through the violence of colonized spaces and she does so with grace, beauty and a ferocity that makes me feel so proud.” —Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of This Accident of Being Lost “Helen writes beautifully and painfully, about her own life and the lives of many of our sisters. A strong, gentle voice removing the colonial blanket and exposing truth.” —Maria Campbell, author of Halfbreed “An incredible debut that documents how trauma and addiction can be turned into healing and love. I am in awe of Helen Knott and her courage. I am a fan for life. Wow.” —Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed “Heartfelt, heartbreaking, triumphant and raw, In My Own Moccasins is a must-read for anyone who's ever felt lost in their life… Actually, it's a must-read for anyone who appreciates stories of struggle, redemption and healing. Knott’s writing is confident, clear, powerful and inspiring.” —Jowita Bydlowska, author of Guy: A Novel and Drunk Mom “Powerful, filled with emotion.” —Carol Daniels, author of Bearskin Diary and Hiraeth "A beautiful rendering of how recovery for our peoples is inevitably about reconnecting with Indigenous identities, lands, cultural and healing practices." —Kim Anderson, author of Reconstructing Native Womenhood
Five Little Indians: A Novel
By Michelle Good. 2020
Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara,…Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention. Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn't want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission. Fuelled by rage and furious with God, Clara finds her way into the dangerous, highly charged world of the American Indian Movement. Maisie internalizes her pain and continually places herself in dangerous situations. Famous for his daring escapes from the school, Kenny can't stop running and moves restlessly from job to job, through fishing grounds, orchards and logging camps, trying to outrun his memories and his addiction. Lucy finds peace in motherhood and nurtures a secret compulsive disorder as she waits for Kenny to return to the life they once hoped to share together. After almost beating one of his tormentors to death, Howie serves time in prison, then tries once again to re-enter society and begin life anew. With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward.
In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience
By Helen Knott. 2021
Helen Knott, a highly accomplished Indigenous woman, seems to have it all. But in her memoir, she offers a different…perspective. In My Own Moccasins is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption.With gripping moments of withdrawal, times of spiritual awareness, and historical insights going back to the signing of Treaty 8 by her great-great grandfather, Chief Bigfoot, her journey exposes the legacy of colonialism, while reclaiming her spirit.
Unreconciled: Family, Truth, and Indigenous Resistance
By Jesse Wente. 2021
"Unreconciled is one hell of a good book. Jesse Wente’s narrative moves effortlessly from the personal to the historical to…the contemporary. Very powerful, and a joy to read."—Thomas King, author of The Inconvenient Indian and SufferanceA prominent Indigenous voice uncovers the lies and myths that affect relations between white and Indigenous peoples and the power of narrative to emphasize truth over comfort.Part memoir and part manifesto, Unreconciled is a stirring call to arms to put truth over the flawed concept of reconciliation, and to build a new, respectful relationship between the nation of Canada and Indigenous peoples. Jesse Wente remembers the exact moment he realized that he was a certain kind of Indian--a stereotypical cartoon Indian. He was playing softball as a child when the opposing team began to war-whoop when he was at bat. It was just one of many incidents that formed Wente's understanding of what it means to be a modern Indigenous person in a society still overwhelmingly colonial in its attitudes and institutions. As the child of an American father and an Anishinaabe mother, Wente grew up in Toronto with frequent visits to the reserve where his maternal relations lived. By exploring his family's history, including his grandmother's experience in residential school, and citing his own frequent incidents of racial profiling by police who'd stop him on the streets, Wente unpacks the discrepancies between his personal identity and how non-Indigenous people view him. Wente analyzes and gives voice to the differences between Hollywood portrayals of Indigenous peoples and lived culture. Through the lens of art, pop culture, and personal stories, and with disarming humour, he links his love of baseball and movies to such issues as cultural appropriation, Indigenous representation and identity, and Indigenous narrative sovereignty. Indeed, he argues that storytelling in all its forms is one of Indigenous peoples' best weapons in the fight to reclaim their rightful place.Wente explores and exposes the lies that Canada tells itself, unravels "the two founding nations" myth, and insists that the notion of "reconciliation" is not a realistic path forward. Peace between First Nations and the state of Canada can't be recovered through reconciliation--because no such relationship ever existed.
Life in the City of Dirty Water: A Memoir of Healing
By Clayton Thomas-Muller. 2021
NATIONAL BESTSELLER An electrifying memoir that braids together the urgent issues of Indigenous rights and environmental policy, from a nationally…and internationally recognized activist and survivor.There have been many Clayton Thomas-Mullers: The child who played with toy planes as an escape from domestic and sexual abuse, enduring the intergenerational trauma of Canada's residential school system; the angry youngster who defended himself with fists and sharp wit against racism and violence, at school and on the streets of Winnipeg and small-town British Columbia; the tough teenager who, at 17, managed a drug house run by members of his family, and slipped in and out of juvie, operating in a world of violence and pain.But behind them all, there was another Clayton: the one who remained immersed in Cree spirituality, and who embraced the rituals and ways of thinking vital to his heritage; the one who reconnected with the land during summer visits to his great-grandparents' trapline in his home territory of Pukatawagan in northern Manitoba.And it's this version of Clayton that ultimately triumphed, finding healing by directly facing the trauma that he shares with Indigenous peoples around the world. Now a leading organizer and activist on the frontlines of environmental resistance, Clayton brings his warrior spirit to the fight against the ongoing assault on Indigenous peoples' lands by Big Oil.Tying together personal stories of survival that bring the realities of the First Nations of this land into sharp focus, and lessons learned from a career as a frontline activist committed to addressing environmental injustice at a global scale, Thomas-Muller offers a narrative and vision of healing and responsibility.
Permanent Astonishment: A Memoir
By Tomson Highway. 2021
Capricious, big-hearted, joyful: an epic memoir from one of Canada’s most acclaimed Indigenous writers and performersTomson Highway was born in…a snowbank on an island in the sub-Arctic, the eleventh of twelve children in a nomadic, caribou-hunting Cree family. Growing up in a land of ten thousand lakes and islands, Tomson relished being pulled by dogsled beneath a night sky alive with stars, sucking the juices from roasted muskrat tails, and singing country music songs with his impossibly beautiful older sister and her teenaged friends. Surrounded by the love of his family and the vast, mesmerizing landscape they called home, his was in many ways an idyllic far-north childhood. But five of Tomson's siblings died in childhood, and Balazee and Joe Highway, who loved their surviving children profoundly, wanted their two youngest sons, Tomson and Rene, to enjoy opportunities as big as the world. And so when Tomson was six, he was flown south by float plane to attend a residential school. A year later Rene joined him to begin the rest of their education. In 1990 Rene Highway, a world-renowned dancer, died of an AIDS-related illness. Permanent Astonishment: Growing Up in the Land of Snow and Sky is Tomson's extravagant embrace of his younger brother's final words: "Don't mourn me, be joyful." His memoir offers insights, both hilarious and profound, into the Cree experience of culture, conquest, and survival.
Spíləx̣m: A weaving of recovery, resilience, and resurgence
By Nicola I. Campbell. 2022
If the hurt and grief we carry is a woven blanket, it is time to weave ourselves anew. In the…Nle?kepmxcín language, spíləx̣m are remembered stories, often shared over tea in the quiet hours between Elders. Rooted within the British Columbia landscape, and with an almost tactile representation of being on the land and water, Spíləx̣m explores resilience, reconnection, and narrative memory through stories. Captivating and deeply moving, this story basket of memories tells one Indigenous woman's journey of overcoming adversity and colonial trauma to find strength through creative works and traditional perspectives of healing, transformation, and resurgence
The Red Files
By Lisa Bird-Wilson. 2016
This debut poetry collection from Lisa Bird-Wilson reflects on the legacy of the residential school system: the fragmentation of families…and histories, with blows that resonate through the generations.Inspired by family and archival sources, Bird-Wilson assembles scraps of a history torn apart by colonial violence. The collection takes its name from the federal government's complex organizational structure of residential schools archives, which are divided into "black files" and "red files." In vignettes as clear as glass beads, her poems offer affection to generations of children whose presence within the historic record is ghostlike, anonymous and ephemeral.The collection also explores the larger political context driving the mechanisms that tore apart families and cultures, including the Sixties Scoop. It depicts moments of resistance, both personal and political, as well as official attempts at reconciliation: "I can hold in the palm of my right hand / all that I have left: one story-gift from an uncle, / a father's surname, treaty card, Cree accent echo, metal bits, grit- / and I will still have room to cock a fist."The Red Files concludes with a fierce hopefulness, embracing the various types of love that can begin to heal the traumas inflicted by a legacy of violence.
Picking Up the Pieces: Residential School Memories and the Making of the Witness Blanket
By Carey Newman, Kristie Hudson. 2019
Picking Up the Pieces tells the story of the making of the Witness Blanket, a living work of art conceived…and created by Indigenous artist Carey Newman. It includes hundreds of items collected from Residential Schools across Canada, everything from bricks, photos and letters to hockey skates, dolls and braids. Every object tells a story. <P><P> Carey takes the reader on a journey from the initial idea behind the Witness Blanket to the challenges in making it work to its completion. The story is told through the objects and the Survivors who donated them to the project. At every step in this important journey for children and adults alike, Carey is a guide, sharing his process and motivation behind the art. It's a very personal project. Carey's father is a Residential School Survivor. Like the Blanket itself, Picking Up the Pieces calls on readers of all ages to bear witness to the Residential School experience, a tragic piece of Canada’s history.