Residential School, A Survivors’ History — Honouring Their Voices and Images

Posted by FirstNationsWriter on April 23, 2014  |   No Comments »

DSC_0117 Residential School, A Survivors’ History — Honouring Their Voices and Images

Signing our book contract on April 10, 2014, with the new GoodMinds Publishing for Residential School, A Survivors’ History. Left to right: Jeff Burnham, President, GoodMinds Publishing (; Constance Brissenden (co-author); Larry Loyie (author); Linda Burnham,; co-author Wayne K. Spear.

GoodMinds Publishing of Brantford, ON, shares co-publishing duties with Shingwauk Residential School Research Centre at Algoma University, Sault Ste. Marie, ON. The new book will be available by September 2014.

Details on the book:

Residential School, A Survivors’ History honours the survivors (former students) who attended Canada’s residential schools for more than a century.

This unique book, written by award-winning author Larry Loyie (Cree), a survivor of St. Bernard Mission residential school in Grouard, AB, includes an accessible history of the residential school system, the memories of more than 45 survivors from across Canada and more than 120 images. Written with co-authors Constance Brissenden and Kanienkeha:ka (Mohawk) author Wayne K. Spear, the full colour, 104 page book includes an introduction by Larry Loyie with seven chapters, Key Dates poster, map of Canadian residential schools, index and glossary.

A name change says it all: our upcoming book (Summer 2014) on residential school history is now called: Residential School, A Survivors’ History, with the sub-title Honouring Their Voices and Images. Our original title was: Residential School, A Children’s History.

Summing up the book: Residential School, A Survivors’ History has taken 2.5 years to write, a combined 35 years of research for the co-authors, and for Larry Loyie, 70 years since he entered St. Bernard Mission at the age of ten. Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden completed more than 60 survivor interviews since 2003, the latest at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s final gathering in March 2014 in Edmonton. On behalf of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, where they met co-author Wayne K. Spear in 2004, they searched for personal photos of former students, many of which are included (with permission) in the new book.

Larry Loyie’s goal is to write an accessible national history for all readers. After more than 1600 classroom visits since 1998, Larry and his partner and editor, Constance Brissenden, knew that readers, including teachers and students, needed a book that put the residential school system into historical context without neglecting the humanity of the former students, known as survivors.

We’re now in the final stages of writing, collecting photographs (assisted by Krista McCracken, MA, researcher and curator at Shingwauk Residential School Research Centre), checking for accuracy, copy-editing and review. Designer Dean Pickup of Canada Book Design in Beaumont, AB, is standing by to continue his impressive design. Dean Pickup created a sample for us last year with our words and images to show how the book would look for prospective readers.

Watch for updates! We’ll include the book’s cover soon.

For more information, contact

Jeff Burnham (,

Larry Loyie/Constance Brissenden (

Wayne K. Spear at







Residential School, A Children’s History … a forthcoming national history

Posted by FirstNationsWriter on March 25, 2014  |   No Comments »

Residential School Cover 2 high res

Residential School, A Children’s History 

A unique and remarkable forthcoming national history

It’s taken two years of writing, 20 years of research, and for residential school survivor Larry Loyie, a lifetime of living with the memory of residential school life. 
Residential School, A Children’s History will be published by September 1, 2014. We are honoured to announce the co-publishers: and Shingwauk Residential School Research Centre at Algoma University.
What makes this national history unique:
. written by award-winning Cree author Larry Loyie, a residential school survivor
. co-authors are Wayne K. Spear (Mohawk), with 15 years experience in the field (Aboriginal Healing Foundation and others) and Larry Loyie’s longtime collaborator and editor Constance Brissenden
. written as an introduction for all readers, including students
. includes more than 45 survivor memories from across Canada
. features more than 160 images of schools across Canada
. 96 pages, full colour, an attractive keepsake edition
. introduction by Larry Loyie includes discussion of the rights of children
. seven chapters explain: the residential school system, why did it happen (historical overview); the meaning of culture and traditions; leaving home and arriving at school; life at school; abuse, the dark legacy; friendship and laughter; moving on
. additional: key dates, map of residential schools, how to look at photographs, index, glossary
Follow this blog for more announcements on the progress of the book. Or email: for more information (Larry Loyie).

Proposed cover artwork by designer Dean Pickup of Beaumont, AB.Residential School Cover 2 high res

The Moon Speaks Cree book launch Feb 8 Peace River Museum

Posted by FirstNationsWriter on February 2, 2014  |   No Comments »

event poster