Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools

Front Cover
Heritage House Publishing Co, Oct 1, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 208 pages

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.


What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

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


The Morning Routine
Older Siblings
My Dad My Hero
My Language is Ojibway
Mind Body and Soul
Struggling to Succeed
From Dachau to Newfoundland to Fort Alexander
Come In Tciga

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

Theodore (Ted) Fontaineis a member and former chief of the Sagkeeng Ojibway First Nation in Manitoba. He attended the Fort Alexander Indian Residential School from 1948 until 1958 and the Assiniboia Indian Residential School from 1958 to 1960. Theodore is a regular speaker and media commentator on Indian residential schools and has presented Broken Circle to more than 250 audiences in Canada and the United States. Following his tenure as chief and a period of service with the federal government, Theodore served as executive director to the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs for eleven years. He was the lead negotiator for the Assembly in thirty-eight National Employment Equity Agreements to increase the representation of Aboriginal people in federally regulated corporations such as Air Canada, Greyhound Canada, CN Rail, and all of Canada’s major banks and financial institutions. He has worked extensively in the corporate and government sectors and with organizations such as Peace Hills Trust, the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, the Manitoba Museum, the Victorian Order of Nurses, and Palliative Care Manitoba. He has taught Aboriginal governance at the Banff Centre for Management and Conflict Resolution at Royal Roads University. Theodore graduated in Civil Engineering from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 1973 and received his designation in Real Estate Appraisal in 1975. He lives with his wife, Morgan, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Bibliographic information