Monday, July 09, 2007

Children's Books about Canadian Residential Schools

Just found an article in The Looking Glass that reviews three children's books about Canada's residential schools for Native children. The article is called "Opening the Cache of Canadian Secrets: The Residential School Experience in Books for Children." The article, by Brianne Grant, discusses Nicola Campbell's outstanding picture book on the topic, Shi-shi-etko.

Reading the article this evening, and noting that another Harry Potter is soon-to-be-released, I remember that some people think these US/Canadian boarding/residential schools for Native children were like European, or eastern prep schools.

That, of course, was not the case. Read Grant's article, and the children's books she reviews, and you'll never confuse these schools with prep schools again.


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2 comments:

Kate said...

Too true. I've had to study American assimilation schools for American Natives that operated throughout the 19th century and beyond. Heartbreaking.

Kathleen said...

Library Archives Canada has a site, compiled in 2002, about the residential schools that First Nation children attended in Canada. The site includes a "selective bibliography" of school histories and personal account, as well as lists of theses, films, etc. It would be great to see this resource open up and be annotatable. The link to the site is here. I hope that more people begin to understand the tragic and multi-generational consequences of residential schools and the Canadian government's policy towards First Nation peoples.