The Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) at Algoma University is pleased to announce its first co-publication under the new SRSC Imprint: Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors, written by award-winning First Nations writer, Larry Loyie.
Larry Loyie (firstnationswriter.com) is a Cree writer from Slave Lake, Alberta. At the age of nine, he was placed in St. Bernard’s Mission Residential School in Grouard, Alberta. His time in the Residential Schools system inspired countless works, including his play Ora Pro Nobis. His new book, Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors, is Loyie’s ninth book and took 21 years to research and three years to complete. A national history, its seven chapters include the importance of culture, traditions, and families, life at school, the dark side of abuse, friendship and laughter, and the power of healing and education in a changing world. Loyie worked with co-authors Wayne K. Spear (Mohawk) and Constance Brissenden to complete the book.
“We wanted to write a readable history that shared many views of the schools,” said Larry Loyie. “The biggest challenge was how to handle the material so that it could be read by all ages. Residential school histories are usually written for adults. The book explains the schools for all readers no matter what their age or background.”
Writing this new book was one of Loyie’s biggest challenges. Emotions surfaced, but he kept his goal in sight. “I hope my book will show Canadians the strength and courage of the children who went to the schools. All former students share a kinship that is hard to explain to the world. I’ve tried to share it through the words and images in the book. I hope I’ve achieved this.”
More than 65 former students or family members from across Canada are quoted, all with their permission (or family members, if deceased). Survivor, founding member of the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, and AU alumna Shirley Horn shares an hour-by-hour account of a typical day at school, with photos from the era.
The full-colour, hardcover book is visually impressive with over 120 photographs playing an important role – many of which are from the personal collections of Survivors and the SRSC’s extensive image archive. Seven chapters include the importance of culture, traditions, and families, life at school, the dark side of abuse, friendship and laughter, and the power of healing and education in a changing world. A glossary and index are included.
“Residential Schools reflects exceptional research and production quality,” said Jonathan Dewar, the Director of the SRSC. “Above all, it is a residential school history from an Aboriginal perspective, inspired by the personal experience of a Survivor dedicated to sharing this history with the world.”
Residential Schools is co-published by two respected Aboriginal resources, the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre at Algoma University and Indigenous Education Press (www.GoodMinds.com) of Brantford, Ontario. The SRSC Imprint and this co-publication were developed as part of the SRSC’s Healing and Reconciliation through Education research grant (2012-14) generously funded by the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.
Copies of Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors can be ordered from www.goodminds.com.