Loyie Brissenden Archive at UBC’s new Indian Residential School History and Research Centre

Larry Loyie (1933-April 18, 2016) is honoured at UBC’s new Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre with the Loyie Brissenden archive. The centre is located in the central campus, opposite the well-known clock tower.

Larry Loyie (on left, altar boy in white cassock) at St. Bernard Mission residential school, Grouard, Alberta, circa 1945. Larry Loyie wrote four books related to his life and the history and effects of residential school on survivors.

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

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 (created by the High Prairie Oral History Project, 2011). There are six additional computers for research.

The University of British Columbia’s Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre opened April 9, 2018, on the Vancouver UBC campus.

Each of Larry Loyie’s books is featured on the centre’s website (not loaded yet but soon) with a cover, description, and library link. Much more can be added, and will be. Thank you to the centre’s archivist Elizabeth Shaffer for her splendid and untiring work.

Archivist Elizabeth Shaffer (left), with Larry Loyie’s partner and co-author Constance Brissenden; Trude Huebner, who produced the Pen to Pen tour of Ora Pro Nobis, Pray for Us, Larry Loyie’s play about his residential school years, to British Columbia federal prisons in February 1995; Larry Loyie’s son Brad Loyie of Surrey, BC.

Larry Loyie’s 30 years of research into Indigenous traditions and history, as well as residential school and its survivors, will be accessible on the centre’s website in the coming months.

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.

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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