Up Ghost River is the memoir of Edmund Metatawabin, written as a first hand account of life in northern Canada as an aboriginal young person. His life takes a tumble into the hell of St. Annes, a notoriously violent residential school, when the town officials press his family to make him go. He leaves behind a loving family and a life steeped in native tradition and self-sufficiency. It is a deeply personal account and will shake your beliefs in a fair and just Canada.
A comprehensive review with interviews from the CBC. The review from The National Post.
The Right Honourable Paul Martin recommends the book:
“Moving documentation, recollected tragedy and personal triumph, this book is a necessary first-hand account of being First Nations in contemporary Canada. From the atrocities of residential schools, to the present-day policy challenges, Up Ghost River will open your eyes to the all-too-recent history of Canada’s First Peoples, through the experiences of a resilient individual and his family.”
Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
Winner of the Canada Reads People’s Choice award and the First Nations Communities Reads program and short-listed for the International IMPAC DUBLIN Literary Award.
Richard Wagamese is an Ojibway from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario. He is the author of four novels, including the award-winning Dream Wheels. His autobiographical book For Joshua was published to critical acclaim, and One Native Life was selected as one of the Globe & Mail‘s Top 100 Books of the Year. He lives outside Kamloops, British Columbia.
This story comes highly recommended by a number of my male students who love hockey. It is hockey that becomes the catalyst that changes the life of Saul Indian Horse, growing up in a northern Ontario residential school.
‘My grandmother had always referred to the universe as the Great Mystery.
“What does it mean?” I asked her once.
“It means all things.”
“I don’t understand.”
She took my hand and sat me down on a rock at the water’s edge. “We need mystery,” she said. “Creator in her wisdom knew this. Mystery fills us with awe and wonder. They are the foundations of humility, and humility, grandson, is the foundation of all learning. So we do not seek to unravel this. We honour it by letting it be that way forever.”‘