New Books on Residential Schools

Posted 14/04/14 in NEWS

The Woodland Cultural Centre Library has a Special Collection of books and articles on Residential Schools.  Some of these are hard to find or overlooked since they are not identified as sources for Residential School material.  Whether looking at the title, the table of contents, the subject heading or the format – exhibition catalogue, fiction, graphic novel, etc. you probably won’t find much of the information available unless these books are shelved together.

Here are some of the new additions to the collection.

NET-ETH Going out of the Darkness: an exhibition of First Nations artists, Residential School survivors and their Descendants.  These paintings, photos and stories are powerful reminders of what happened and what memories are foremost in these artists minds. 

Ends/Begins is a graphic novel which tells the story of the legacy of residential school and how survivors are affected.  The pain and the memories do not go away.

They Called Me Number One: secrets and survival at an Indian residential school.  Bev Sellars was not successful in committing suicide after leaving residential school.  She wrote this biography of her experiences at the St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School at Williams Lake, B.C.

There are also more novels being written about residential school experiences which give very graphic and accurate representations of life at residential school and after.  Richard Wagamese’s book Indian Horse is “medicine for the soul.”  (Richard Van Camp, author of The Lesser Blessed)

The intention of sending a few young people to residential school in the North was “for the community… considered essential to collective survival in the future.”  In the book Finding Dahshaa: self-government, social suffering, and Aboriginal Policy in Canada, negotiator Vince Teddy talks about the difficulty survivors have in talking about residential school experiences. 

In the book Making Good: Law and Moral Regulation in Canada 1867-1939, authors Carolyn Strange and Tina Loo examine the institutions which patrolled morality – The Department of Indian Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, and the North-West Mounted Police.  “The Indian Act and the Department of Indian Affairs (DIA) were unabashedly concerned with transforming the character of all Aboriginals, by protecting, civilizing, and assimilating the ‘savages’ to Anglo-Canadian norms.'