Blog

Residential Schools With the Words and Images of Survivors Reviews and More!

Posted by FirstNationsWriter on March 3, 2015  |   No Comments »

OLA authors with JeffRead what people are saying about Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors by Larry Loyie with Wayne K. Spear and Constance Brissenden, co-published by Indigenous Education Press/www.goodminds.com and the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre at Algoma University.

Order from www.goodminds.com; 1 877 862 8483 Ext 1. In Edmonton: available at Audrey’s Books (Jasper Avenue) and Tix on the Square. Also: www.amazon.ca (search for Residential Schools With the Words and Images of Survivors)

Our websites:
www.firstnationswriter.com — Author Larry Loyie
www.goodminds.com – Indigenous Education Press / GoodMinds.com
www.waynekspear.com – Co-author Wayne K. Spear


“Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre
releases first co-publication with Indigenous Education Press”

http://www.algomeu.ca/news_and_events/latest_news/srscreleasesfirstco-publicationwithindigenouseducationpress.html

Edmonton Journal: http://shar.es/1Wqruj “Macdonald’s Legacy Less Than Golden,” editorial by Heather Conn, refers to Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors and the aboriginal view of Sir John A. Macdonald covered in our new book. A great article for classrooms as well.

Book News, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, Winter 2015 – Book review with a thorough overview of the contents plus designation as Recommended Book by author is Karri Yano, a Toronto writer and editor (p 38).

“The material presented is a balance of historical facts and personal experiences. While thorough in its overview — timeline, politics behind the events (racist attitudes in society and politics) — it is not explicit in the details of the neglect and abuse, but specific facts and personal testimonies reveal the deplorable conditions the children who were taken away and living far from any family support had to endure while also demonstrating the incredible resilience of the survivors and what they did to cope.

The book is suitable / appropriate for student 12 and up as a resource for one period of Canadian history that reveals the struggles of Aboriginal people to self-identify and their fight for equal rights and survival as a culture in Canada.”

Western Catholic Reporter / B.C. Catholic / The Prairie Messenger
“Local writer offers even-toned overview of residential schools”

http://www.wcr.ab.ca/ThisWeek/Stories/tabid/61/entryid/6234/Default.aspx

“…his new publication is the product of more than a decade of work by himself and his two co-authors, rounding up photos, personal stories and random facts about the schools. The result is something that should be read and perused by every Canadian who wants to understand what residential schools did to Canada’s aboriginal people without having to plough through a lengthy history or rely on the testimony of one or more individuals.”
Recommended Book

Alberta Sweetgrass, January 2015

http://www.ammsa.com/publications/alberta-sweetgrass/book-offers-first-hand-stories-survivors

Two Row Times — http://www.tworowtimes.com/arts-and-culture/residential-schools-history-book-launched-toronto/

CTV Kitchener Waterloo, Jan 31-Feb 1 2015: “A Survival Story” [search “residential schools”] – another profile in December 2014 on CTV Sault Ste. Marie

Brantford Expositor

http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/2015/01/09/new-book-chronicles-complete-residential-school-experience

Brant News / Cambridge Times

http://www.brantnews.com/brantcounty/

I Heart Edmonton, E-Review by Paula Kirman

http://www.iheartedmonton.org/2015/01/review-residential-schools.html

Kitchener Regional Record, February 28, 2015, P E4

“…work continues, and this is a must read for those looking to better understand the background behind current reconciliation efforts.”

Christine’s Blog

http://chrissyredwindsmith.blogspot.ca/2015/02/book-review-residential-schools-with.html

Goodreads — search for “Residential Schools with the words and images of survivors” Add your own comments!

Residential Schools With the Words and Images of Survivors receiving strong media support

Posted by FirstNationsWriter on February 9, 2015  |   No Comments »

Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors

Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors

DSC_0117
Larry Loyie & Constance Brissenden. November 2014

Larry Loyie & Constance Brissenden. November 2014


Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors was co-published in mid-November by Indigenous Education Press-www.goodminds.com and Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre.

Order from: www.goodminds.com
Tel: 1 877 862 8483
Also: www.amazon.ca

Media & Reviews (to mid-February 2015)

Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors by Larry Loyie with Wayne K. Spear and Constance Brissenden
www.firstnationswriter.com; www.goodminds.com

Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre releases first co-publication with Indigenous Education Press

http://www.algomeu.ca/news_and_events/latest_news/srscreleasesfirstco-publicationwithindigenouseducationpress.html

CTV Kitchener Waterloo, Jan 31-Feb 1 2015: “A Survival Story” [search “residential schools”]

CTV Sault Ste. Marie (November 2014)

Western Catholic Reporter / B.C. Catholic / The Prairie Messenger

http://wcr.ab.ca/ThisWeek/Stories/tabid/61/entry1d/6234/Default.aspx#Top

Brantford Expositor

http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/2015/01/09/new-book-chronicles-complete-residential-school-experience

Brant News / Cambridge Times

http://www.brantnews.com/brantcounty/

I Heart Edmonton, E-Review by Paula Kirman

http://www.iheartedmonton.org/2015/01/review-residential-schools.html

Alberta Sweetgrass, January 2015

http://www.ammsa.com/publications/alberta-sweetgrass/book-offers-first-hand-stories-survivors

Two Row Times — http://www.tworowtimes.com/arts-and-culture/residential-schools-history-book-launched-toronto/

“Goodreads” search for “Residential Schools with the words and images of survivors”

CBC Radio, Family Day February 16, 2015 – An interview with Larry Loyie — COMING SOON!

What does it take to write a book like “Residential Schools” ?

Posted by FirstNationsWriter on December 31, 2014  |   2 Comments »

Larry Loyie & Constance Brissenden. November 2014

Larry Loyie & Constance Brissenden. November 2014

When Your Goal is Out of Sight

By Constance Brissenden

(adapted from an article in Rat Creek Press, Edmonton, Alberta, January 2015 issue)

The New Year is traditionally when we set new goals for ourselves. This week, I’ll learn to make a pie; this month, I’ll walk more; this year, I’ll be a kinder, gentler person.

But what if your goal takes longer? In my case, achieving an important goal took 21 years of research, 12 years of planning, and three years of hard slogging to bring it to fruition. Was it worth it? Yes, every minute of the agony and ecstasy. I learned to push on against fear of failure. I dove into creative depths. I challenged myself to find solutions. I felt immense satisfaction at overcoming all obstacles. Isn’t that what setting a goal is all about?

I sit here with the completion of a beautifully published book, Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors, written by my partner, Cree writer Larry Loyie. Wayne K. Spear (Mohawk) and myself (non-Aboriginal) are co-authors. Wayne and Larry brought inside knowledge to the subject; I brought 40 years of editing skills.

I met Larry Loyie in 1993 in a creative writing class in Vancouver’s downtown east side. He was pursuing his longtime goal of becoming a writer, set when he was 12 years old in residential school. At years end, we were a couple and began writing together. Larry wanted to see library shelves filled with books written by Aboriginal people. He wanted to encourage writers.

I was looking for inspiration, and here it was. As a veteran freelance writer, I wrote to support myself, enjoying the variety of subjects I tackled. Working with Larry gave me a new sense of accomplishment. He wrote a play about his years in St. Bernard Mission residential school (Grouard, Alberta) which I directed. His first children’s book about residential school, As Long as the Rivers Flow, won the Norma Fleck Award for Children’s Non-Fiction and First Nation Communities Read award. At his insistence, my name appeared with his on the cover.

We began to collect research on the residential school system. We met and interviewed hundreds of people about their residential schools years. After 10 years, we had six bins of research. We made the goal to write a history for young readers. Remember that goal?

Back in 2003, we even had a contract. We walked away from that one, because the publisher wanted us to write it their way, and not Larry’s way.

Secretly, I was relieved. The task of writing a national residential schools history seemed too immense, too demanding. The goal was set aside as we wrote four more children’s books.

In 2011, a call from our Buddhist friend Lynne in Toronto got us rolling again. “If you don’t write that book now, when are you going to do it?” she demanded.

We began again. I was still afraid. How would we handle the historical material? The memories of the survivors we had interviewed? What images would best convey the message?

On the way, we were turned down by five publishers. So we wrote and paid for the design of the first 27-pages as a sample. We found the perfect designer for the project, Dean Pickup of Canada Book Design in Beaumont, AB.

The gamble paid off: we attracted two superb co-publishers (the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre at Algoma University and Indigenous Education Press, launched by www.goodminds.com in Brantford, Ontario.

Wayne K. Spear came on board. Wayne is the knowledgeable former communications director for the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. He also shared the history of his Mohawk grandfather, Gowandehsonh (aka William Andrew Johns), who attended the Mohawk Institute residential school in Brantford, Ontario. Weekly Skype meetings with Wayne in Toronto kept the book moving.

Three years later, here it is, a hard cover history that is the product of our decade-old goal. Co-publisher Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre purchased a copy for each of the more than 45 survivors quoted in the book. Survivor Roger Ellis of Yellowknife responded, “You showed what we did with our lives, our accomplishments. It is so encouraging.”

The goal has been accomplished. The book is published. I’m ten years older. And I’ve never felt this good about any goal. If you have a goal that seems out of reach, maybe it’s not? Strategize, be creative in your approach, work hard, and don’t give up.

Create a team if possible. We had Wayne K. Spear, Krista McCracken (archivist and photo expert at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre), designer Dean Pickup, plus supportive co-publishers Jonathan Dewar at SRSC and Jeff Burnham at Indigenous Education Press — www.goodminds.com.

Above all, we had the support of the survivors and family members, as well as museums, libraries, archives and colleges and universities across Canada.

We also have www.goodminds.com as the book’s distributor. Most books don’t leap into sales but Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors has done just that. To order: www.goodminds.com OR CALL 1 877 862 8483.