Connect Five Friday: Residential Schools


It’s time once again for Connect Five Friday, hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.


With the discovery of more unmarked graves near a residential school here in Canada – this time 751 children in Saskatchewan – I feel it long past time to put action to our “sorries”. For too long non-indigenous people have ignored the terrible legacy of the residential schools. The TRC laid down 94 Calls to Action after they interviewed survivors and wrote their report – and so far too few have been implemented..

One way to stand behind and support Indigenous people is to become more knowledgeable about these “schools” and their tragic aftermath.

Several articles appeared today in the Toronto Star which are well worth a read:

Imagine the Terror of the Children by Michelle Good

My Grandmother’s Sister Had a Name by David A. Robertson


The NTRC has an excellent website to provide further information, including the report.


As Deborah Dundas of the Star said: “Sharing stories is one of the most powerful ways of understanding each other.”

Here are 5 books that I either have read or plan to read this summer (short summaries from Goodreads):


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Five Little Indians by Michelle Good  (This book has won numerous awards this year.)

“Winner of the 2018 HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction Michelle Good’s FIVE LITTLE INDIANS, told from the alternating points of view of five former residential school students as they struggle to survive in 1960s Vancouver”


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Fatty Legs: A True Story by Christy Jordan-Fenton.

“The moving memoir of an Inuit girl who emerges from a residential school with her spirit intact.”


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Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story by David Alexander Robertson

“A school assignment to interview a residential school survivor leads Daniel to Betsy, his friend’s grandmother, who tells him her story. Abandoned as a young child, Betsy was soon adopted into a loving family. A few short years later, at the age of 8, everything changed. Betsy was taken away to a residential school. There she was forced to endure abuse and indignity”


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They Called Me Number One by Bev Sellars

“Xat’sull Chief Bev Sellars spent her childhood in a church-run residential school whose aim it was to “civilize” Native children through Christian teachings, forced separation from family and culture, and discipline. In addition, beginning at the age of five, Sellars was isolated for two years at Coqualeetza Indian Tuberculosis Hospital in Sardis, British Columbia. “

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Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation by Monique Bray Smith

“Canada’s relationship with its Indigenous people has suffered as a result of both the residential school system and the lack of understanding of the historical and current impact of those schools. Healing and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness and increased understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt by survivors and their families. Guided by acclaimed Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith, readers will learn about the lives of Survivors and listen to allies who are putting the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into action.”

6 thoughts on “Connect Five Friday: Residential Schools

  1. It was on our news too, I was horrified by it and so saddened. How could human hearts be so cold. I am reading The Firekeepers Daughter which is set in the Objibwee reservation which is just south of the Canadian border. In this novel a Grandma put the kids under the kitchen floor or bedroom floor – don’t remember which and then sat guard. I am so wondering why “Christianity” had to even come near such people. Their own ways and spirituality was excellent and worthy of respect.
    Been thinking of you and your hubby.

    • Thanks Kathryn. What a deep-felt response to such a horrific event. That is a book I am waiting for. We finally got good news yesterday – the CT scan showed no spread, no cancer. There will still be surgery but now the relief of no cancer is freeing.

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