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Ziibiwing Center's American Indian Boarding School Book List - Canada

As Long as the River Flows
by Larry Loyie, Heather D. Holmlund, and Constance Brissenden
Groundwood Books, February 2003
ISBN-10: 0888994737
Youth Level: Ages 9-12
Loyie shares his day-to-day life with his Cree family in Alberta, Canada. He is then informed that he and his siblings must go to an Indian boarding school or his parents will be sent to prison.

Behind Closed Doors: Stories From the Kamloops Indian Residential School
by Jack Agnes
Theytus Books, 1 edition, November 2006
ISBN-10: 1894778413
Adult Level
Thirty-two former students of Kamloops Indian Residential School share their courageous stories in this book.

Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools
by Theodore Fontaine
Heritage House Publishing, First Edition, September 2010
ISBN-10: 9781926613666
Adult Level
Theodore Fontaine lost his family and freedom when his family was forced to leave him at a Roman Catholic Indian Boarding School in Canada. He examines the impact the school had on him from the psychological, emotional and sexual abuse, to the loss of language and culture, to the loss of his family and community.

Finding My Talk: How Fourteen Canadian Native Women Reclaimed their Lives after Residential School
by Agnes Grant and Marlene Starr
Fifth House Books, 1 Edition, September 2004
ISBN-10: 9781894856577
Adult Level
Fourteen aboriginal women who attended residential schools or whose lives were affected by the schools reflect on their experiences.

From Our Mother’s Arms: The Intergenerational Impact of Residential Boarding Schools in Saskatchewan
by Constance Deiter
United Church Publishing House, 1999
ISBN-10: 155134095X
Adult Level
The book unveils stories from men and women who attended Saskatchewan residential boarding schools, including personal interviews and the impact it had on First Nation people.

Hidden from History: The Canadian Holocaust (the untold story of the genocide of Aboriginal peoples by church and state in Canada)
by Kevin Daniel Annett
Truth Commission into Genocide in Canada, 2001
ASIN: B0000CPI41
The book tells the stories of Aboriginal children that attended residential schools in Canada and the persons that ran the schools who sterilized and murdered children, spread smallpox and other diseases, and dug mass graves.

If Only the Rod Had Been Round
by Bridget Harris Volden, as told to Ruth Thielke
Instant Publisher, 2009
ISBN-10: 1604584777
Adult Level
Bridget was beat nightly with a rod that has sharp edges on it for wetting the bed, and she would think that “if only the rod has been round” then maybe it would not have hurt as bad or leave welts and bruises on her back and legs. She kept her spirit when nuns tried to teach the indigenous people they were savages with no soul.

Love and Death in the Valley
by Kevin Annett
AuthorHouse, 2002
ISBN-10: 1403348200
Adult Level
The book is a personal story of a reverend who single-handedly exposed the murder and genocide of native people by the Canadian government and the United Church of Canada.

Magic Weapons: Aboriginal Writers Remaking Community After Residential Schools
by Sam McKegney and Basil H. Johnston
University of Manitoba Press, November 2007
ISBN-10: 9780887557026
Adult Level
Writings from survivors of residential schools and attempted cultural genocide, which include Rita Joe (Mi’kmaq), Anthony Apakark Thrasher (Inuit), as well as critical studies of better known life writings by Basil Johnston (Ojibway) and Tomson Highway (Cree).

Maybe Tomorrow
by Joan Weir
Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1 Edition, September 2000
ISBN-10: 0773674861
Youth Level: Grades 5-9
This is a story about Jane, who attends All Hallows School and meets Sesuq, a Shuswap Indian and they become good friends. Sesuq is mistreated and insulted because of her heritage.
My Name is Seepeetza
by Shirley Sterling
Groundwood Books, June 1998
ISBN-10: 0888991657
Youth Level: Ages 9-12
Seepeetza’s white name is Martha and if she speaks Indian, she is beaten. When she wets the bed, the nuns make her wear the wet sheets over her head, and daydreams about home. This novel is from Seepeetza’s diary and shows her fear, helplessness, and longing for home while attending an Indian residential school in British Columbia.

No Time to Say Goodbye: Children’s Stories of Kuper Island Residential School
by Sylvia Olsen with Rita Morris and Ann Sam
Sono Nis Press, January 2002
ISBN-10: 1550391216
Youth Level: Ages 9-12
A fictional story of 5 Tsartlip First Nation’s children taken from Tsartlip Day School to live at the Kuper Residential School without warning and no time to say goodbye to family. 

Out of the Depths: The Experiences of Mi’Kmaw Children at the Indian Residential School at Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia
by Isabelle Knockwood
Roseway Publishing, 3rd Edition, 2001
ISBN-10: 1896496296
Adult Level
The author went to a residential school at age 5 in 1936, and still has not erased that experience from her soul.

Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School
by Celia Haig-Brown
Arsenal Pulp Press, July 2002
ISBN-10: 9780889781894
Adult Level
This is one of the first books published about residential schools in Canada consisting of Native perspectives and 13 interviews from former students of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

by Nicola I. Campbell and Kim LaFave
Groundwood Books, August 2005
ISBN-10: 9780888996596
Youth Level: Ages 4-8
The book tells how Shi-shi-etko spent time with her mother, father, and grandmother before being forced from her home to attend a residential school for Natives to teach them the English language and culture.

Shin-chi’s Canoe
by Nicola I. Campbell and Kim LaFave
Groundwood Books, December 2008
ISBN-10: 9780888998576
Youth Level: Ages 4-8
The book is about 6 year old Shin-chi and his older sister, Shi-shi-etko, who was hauled away in a cattle truck to attend a government mandated boarding school and was not allowed to speak in their Native language or to each other. He holds onto a cedar canoe that was made by his father and sneaks out to sing his grandfather’s prayer song.

Shingwauk’s Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools
by J. R. Miller
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division, 1 Edition, May 1996
ISBN-10: 0802078583
Adult Level
J. R. Miller explores the motives of the agents involved in the schools looking at the experiences and agendas of the government officials who authorized the schools, the missionaries that operated the schools, and the students that attended the schools.

by Ron Purvis
Heritage House Publishing Company, Limited, 1st Edition, 1994
Adult Level
T’shama means “white man, staff, or authority” and the author was all three at St. George’s Indian Residential School in Lytton, BC.

The Circle Game: Shadows and Substance in the Indian Residential School Experience in Canada
by Roland Chrisjohn, Sherry Young, and Michael Maraun
Theytus Books, Revised Edition, January 2006
ISBN-10: 1894778057
Adult Level
This book discusses the language and rhetoric that surrounds Indian residential schools in Canada and provides recommendations to undo what has been done.

Two Trails Narrow
by Stephen McGregor
Theytus Books, February 2008
ISBN-10: 1894778367
Adult Level
With help, two boys escape the St. Xavier’s Residential School to return home to their reservation, and are later reunited when they are selected to serve as valuable Corporals for one of the best Canadian commando units in WWII. The book recounts the pain a young generation hadto endure at home and overseas.

Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada
by Paulette Regan and Taiaiake Alfred
University of British Columbia Press, November 2010
ISBN-10: 0774817771
Adult Level
Canada established a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help mend the rifts between Aboriginal people and the settlers that created the residential school system. The author argues that non-natives of Canada must undergo decolonization themselves in order to fully reconcile and acknowledge the destructive legacy of a society.

Victims of Benevolence: The Dark Legacy Of the Williams Lake Residential School
by Elizabeth Furniss
Arsenal Pulp Press, July 2002
ISBN-10: 155152015X
Adult Level
The book is about two tragic events that happened at a Indian residential school in British Columbia, which consists of the death of a runaway boy and the suicide of another while they were students at the school.