Finding My Talk: How Fourteen Native Women Reclaimed Their Lives After Residential School

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Fifth House, 2004 - Social Science - 212 pages

When residential schools opened in the 1830s, First Nations envisioned their own teachers, ministers, and interpreters. Instead, students were regularly forced to renounce their cultures and languages and some were subjected to degradations and abuses that left severe emotional scars for generations.

In Finding My Talk, fourteen aboriginal women who attended residential schools, or were affected by them, reflect on their experiences. They describe their years in residential schools across Canada and how they overcame tremendous obstacles to become strong and independent members of aboriginal cultures and valuable members of Canadian society.

Biographies include:

  • Eleanor Brass, Journalist, Plains Cree, Saskatchewan,
  • Rita Joe, Poet/Writer, Mi?kmaq, Nova Scotia,
  • Alice French, Writer, Inuit, Northwest Territories
  • Shirley Sterling, School Administrator/Storyteller, Nlakapmux, British Columbia,
  • Doris Pratt, Education Administrator/Language Specialist, Dakota, Manitoba,
  • Edith Dalla Costa, School Counsellor, Woodland Cree, Alberta,
  • Sara Sabourin, Community Worker, Ojibway, Ontario.

Dr. Agnes Grant worked with the Native Teacher Training programs at Brandon University, Manitoba, for thirty years. As an administrator and professor, she spent much of her time in remote communities. Dr. Grant is the author of No End of Grief: Indian Residential Schools in Canada and three other books. She lives in Winnipeg.

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User Review  - AbigailAdams26 - LibraryThing

For many of us, the idea of boarding school has immense appeal, conjuring images of happy young people, clad in their snappy school uniforms, forging bonds of friendship with their fellow students ... Read full review


ELEANOR BRASS Cree Saskatchewan
IDA WASACASE CreeSaulteaux Saskatchewan
RITA JOE Mikmaq Nova Scotia

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About the author (2004)

Dr. Agnes Grant worked with the Native Teacher Training programs at Brandon University, Manitoba, for thirty years. She travelled extensively in remote and isolated communities, both as an administrator and as a professor. As she listened to the students and community members, she learned of the tremendous effect residential schools have had on members of First Nations and Canadian society in general.

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