— it's kismet that we conflict with the stars (koushiba) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,
— it's kismet that we conflict with the stars

ONTD ORIGINAL: 6 Books From Residential School Survivors (Canada & United States)

Almost 24 hours ago news broke that 751 unmarked graves had been found by The Cowessess First Nations on the grounds of an old residential school in Canada. To date, 1,323 victims have been found in 2021 alone. All of them children. Because of this I thought it necessary to highlight books from those who survived, not only in Canada but also in the United States (because yes, we Americans had them too).

The title for every book will bring you to a GoodReads link!

Behind Closed Doors: Stories From The Kamloops Indian Residential School (Jack Agnes as Editor)
Earlier this month news came out that the remains of 215 victims had been found near the Kamloops Residential School. One of the largest residential schools in Canada when it was open. Behind Closed Doors, shares the stories of thirty two survivors of the school as a way to educate, but also heal from their trauma. Given the recent recovery, I thought this was an important book to highlight.

They Called Me Number One (Bev Sellars)
Now Cheif of Xat'sull, Bev Sellers recounts not only her time at Williams Lake Residential School at St.Joseph's Mission, where children were not called by names but by numbers. Interwoven with her time at the residential school are also personal stories about her family, and the abuse and harships they endured.
*For further reading on Williams Lake I recommend Victims of Benevolence: The Dark Legacy of the Williams Lake Residential School (Elizabeth Furniss)

Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through the Turbulent Waters of Native History (Edmund Metatawabin)
A survivor of St.Anne's Residential School, considered one of the worst residential schools in Canada's history (linked is a story from CBC). Chief Metatawabin found himself still haunted by his time at St.Anne's, Up Ghost River chronicles his journey of self-healing, and facing his own PSTD and alcoholism. Chief Metatawabin now works as an activist, to expose the horrors of residential schools and help the next generation heal themselves.


Stringing Rosaries: The History, the Unforgivable, and the Healing of Northern Plains American Indian Boarding School Survivors (Contemporary Voices of Indigenous People) (Denise K. Lajimodiere)
Published in 2019, Stringing Rosaries was a labor of love on Denise K. Lajimodiere's part, a way of understanding her parents and the trauma they went through. Provided in the book are a brief history on boarding schools, interviews with sixteen survivors and the authors own journey of healing with her father.

No Parole Today (Laura Tohe)
Part memoir, part prose Tohe describes her time at a government school in New Mexico and the complex feelings on cultural, identity and society left with her long after her time spent. Tohe was the Navajo Nation Poet Laureate for 2017.

Children Left Behind: The Dark Legacy of Indian Mission Boarding Schools (Tim Giago, Denise Giago)
Tim Giago became the first Native American writer for a South Dakota newspaper in 1979, and has written many poems and articles about his time at Holy Rosary Indian Mission School, which left him feeling void of his Lakota indentity and his culture surpressed. Children Left Behind deals with his own experiences and also his thoughts on church linking with state to oppress Native identity.

A blanket TW for all the books as they deal with heavy issues. Sorry for any typos and all the wonky image sizes!

src: b1 b2 b3 b4 b5 b6
Tags: books / authors, ontd original

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