Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools : a Memoir

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Heritage House Publishing Co, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 190 pages
Now an approved curriculum resource for grade 9-12 students in British Columbia and Manitoba.

Theodore (Ted) Fontaine lost his family and freedom just after his seventh birthday, when his parents were forced to leave him at an Indian residential school by order of the Roman Catholic Church and the Government of Canada. Twelve years later, he left school frozen at the emotional age of seven. He was confused, angry and conflicted, on a path of self-destruction. At age 29, he emerged from this blackness. By age 32, he had graduated from the Civil Engineering Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and begun a journey of self-exploration and healing.

In this powerful and poignant memoir, Ted examines the impact of his psychological, emotional and sexual abuse, the loss of his language and culture, and, most important, the loss of his family and community. He goes beyond details of the abuses of Native children to relate a unique understanding of why most residential school survivors have post-traumatic stress disorders and why succeeding generations of First Nations children suffer from this dark chapter in history.

Told as remembrances described with insights that have evolved through his healing, his story resonates with his resolve to help himself and other residential school survivors and to share his enduring belief that one can pick up the shattered pieces and use them for good.

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User Review  - WLR11 - LibraryThing

Theodore Fontaine takes us to a place that many of us do not want to go. It is factual, raw and needs to be shared. I commend his personal courage, strength and honesty in writing this book. His ... Read full review

Contents

contents
10
The Morning Routine
38
Older Siblings
62
My Dad My Hero
71
My Language is Ojibway
106
Mind Body and Soul
119
Struggling to Succeed
137
From Dachau to Newfoundland to Fort Alexander
170
Apologies
176
Come In Tciga
183
Acknowledgements
189
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Theodore (Ted) Fontaine is a member and former chief of the Sagkeeng Ojibway First Nation in Manitoba. He attended the Fort Alexander and Assiniboia Indian Residential Schools from 1948 to 1960. As a youth, he played senior hockey across Western Canada before moving north to direct a mineral exploration crew in the Northwest Territories, a formative experience that set him on a lifelong path toward self-discovery and healing. Theodore graduated in civil engineering from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 1973 and went on to work extensively in the corporate, government and First Nations sectors, including eleven years with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs as an advisor and executive director. He has served in leadership and voluntary roles with organizations such as the Banff Centre for Management, Peace Hills Trust, the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, the Manitoba Museum, the Victorian Order of Nurses and Palliative Care Manitoba. Theodore is a regular speaker and media commentator on Indian residential schools and has presented his bestselling memoir, Broken Circle, to more than 350 audiences in Canada and the United States. He continues to break new ground by supporting other survivors and by seeking reconciliation directly with those who were perpetrators of his abuse. Theodore lives with his wife, Morgan, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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