Larry Loyie archives at UBC’s new Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre

Residential School survivor and author Larry Loyie (1933-April 18, 2016) is honoured at UBC’s new Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre with the Loyie Brissenden Archives. The Vancouver-based centre, seen below, is located on campus opposite the well-known clock tower. The Loyie Brissenden Archives are in the process of being digitized. Please check out the centre’s website which is in the process of being developed.

Cree author Larry Loyie (1933-2018), above, in 2002, with partner and co-writer Constance Brissenden. Larry wears a ribbon shirt given to him by friend Marcel Auger of East Prairie Metis Settlement. Photo on right: Larry Loyie (on left) wearing an altar boy’s white cassock at St. Bernard Mission residential school, Grouard, Alberta, circa 1945.

The new Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre opened April 9, 2018. The important centre represents B.C., Alberta, NWT and Yukon survivors.

L to R: Archivist Elizabeth Shaffer is creating the Loyie Brissenden digital archive; Larry Loyie’s partner, writer and editor, Constance Brissenden, holding the 2018, 20th anniversary edition of Larry’s play Ora Pro Nobis, Pray for Us (Indigenous Education Press), published with Vera Manuel’s play, Strength of Indian Women; Trude Huebner, who produced the Pen to Pen Tour of Ora Pro Nobis, Pray for Us to BC’s federal prisons, February 1995; Brad Loyie, Larry’s youngest son, proudly representing the Loyie family. Trude Huebner holds Larry Loyie’s bestselling national history: Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors (IEP).

In a public area are comfortable couches and two digital kiosks where visitors can put on headphones and listen to Larry’s extended interview on his life and six years in residential school (video courtesy High Prairie Oral History Project, 2011). There are six additional computers for research.

 

Each of Larry Loyie’s books is featured on the centre’s website with cover, description, and library link. Much more can be added, and will be. Thank you to archivist Elizabeth Shaffer for her splendid and untiring work.

Linc Kesler, Director, First Nations House of Learning, a friend and supportive voice for Larry Loyie. Larry’s involvement with UBC’s Indigenous programs went back more than 20 years. The digital page for Larry Loyie’s national history, the award-winning Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors, is in the background.

Copies of Larry Loyie’s books, Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors, and Two Plays About Residential School (both from Indigenous Education Press, www.goodminds.com), were featured at the opening.

Larry Loyie wrote two additional books about his years living a traditional life followed by six years in residential school: As Long as the Rivers Flow (Groundwood) and its sequel Goodbye Buffalo Bay (Theytus). All books are in print.

Larry Loyie’s close friends at UBC’s Xwi7xwa Library: left to right, Sarah Dupont (Aboriginal Engagement Librarian); Larry’s partner and co-author Constance Brissenden; Kim Lawson (Reference Librarian). Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden’s extended relationship with UBC began with a friendship with Kim Lawson.

Thank you to all friends of Larry Loyie and Constance Brissenden at UBC. It was Larry’s desire to have his residential school research housed with you.

About Constance Brissenden

Constance Brissenden (BA, MA, Theatre) is a writer, editor, and educator. In 1992, she met Cree First Nations author Larry Loyie in a free creative writing class in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Focusing on Indigenous history, culture, and pride, Larry and Constance were a dynamic duo. They wrote eight books together based on Larry Loyie's traditional childhood and his six years in residential school. After more than 20 years of research, they completed the national bestselling history, Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors (Indigenous Education Press). Together they gave more than 1,600 talks and 100 writing workshops across Canada. Larry Loyie (1933-2016) was dedicated to sharing his pride in his culture and traditions, and educating others about the hidden history of residential school. Constance Brissenden continues to share Larry Loyie's legacy. She is honoured to have been part of his inspiring journey, and continues to write, edit, and teach in his memory. Constance Brissenden can be reached at: firstnationswriter@gmail.com
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