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Broken Circle

The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools

by Theodore Fontaine

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list price: $8.99
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
published: 2010
ISBN:9781926936062
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Librarian review

Broken Circle: The dark legacy of Indian residential schools

In this powerful and poignant memoir, Ted examines the impact of his psychological, emotional and sexual abuse, the loss of his language and culture, and, most important, the loss of his family and community. He goes beyond details of the abuses of Native children to relate a unique understanding of why most residential school survivors have post-traumatic stress disorders and why succeeding generations of First Nations children suffer from this dark chapter in history.

This is an important book to share when helping students understand what it was like to live in Residential schools. As a memoir, this offers readers a first-hand account of the trials of Aboriginal youth who lived and survived under what were often brutal conditions. Librarians and teachers can share this book with readers to demonstrate how stories of injustice can inspire strong emotions in readers. Broken Circle also offers a significant model of a true story about hope and healing.

Author available for class visits.

Source: Association of Canadian Publishers. Top Grade Selection 2016.

Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

Broken Circle: Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir

Fontaine attended residential schools in Manitoba from 1948– 1960. His memoir recounts his childhood experiences of abuse at the school and his adult’s analysis of how this affected his life. Fontaine cherishes his pre-school years among the loving family who taught him traditional values. Once he left his family and community, he writes that his emotional growth stopped. After graduation, Fontaine struggled with drinking and lived a nomadic life. He finally underwent therapy where he examined the impact residential schooling had on his life. Ultimately, Fontaine heals his emotional scars and secures some financial restitution. He is a man proud of his journey, his family and his 30-year career devoted to First Nations communities. Fontaine currently chairs the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute.

Caution: Indian, Aboriginal and First Nations are used interchangeably.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2011-2012.

Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

Broken Circle: Indian Residential Schools, A Memoir

Fontaine attended residential schools in Manitoba from 1948– 1960. His memoir recounts his childhood experiences of abuse at the school and his adult’s analysis of how this affected his life. Fontaine cherishes his pre-school years among the loving family who taught him traditional values. Once he left his family and community, he writes that his emotional growth stopped. After graduation, Fontaine struggled with drinking and lived a nomadic lifestyle. He finally underwent therapy where he examined the impact residential schooling had on his life. Ultimately, Fontaine heals his emotional scars and secures some financial restitution. He is a man proud of his journey, his family and his 30-year career devoted to First Nations communities. Fontaine currently chairs the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute.

Caution: Indian, Aboriginal and First Nations are used interchangeably.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2011-2012.

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Description

“Too many survivors of Canada’s Indian residential schools live to forget. Theodore Fontaine writes to remember." - Hana Gartner, CBC's The Fifth Estate

Now an approved curriculum resource for grade 9–12 students in British Columbia and Manitoba.

Theodore (Ted) Fontaine lost his family and freedom just after his seventh birthday, when his parents were forced to leave him at an Indian residential school by order of the Roman Catholic Church and the Government of Canada. Twelve years later, he left school frozen at the emotional age of seven. He was confused, angry and conflicted, on a path of self-destruction. At age 29, he emerged from this blackness. By age 32, he had graduated from the Civil Engineering Program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and begun a journey of self-exploration and healing.

In this powerful and poignant memoir, Ted examines the impact of his psychological, emotional and sexual abuse, the loss of his language and culture, and, most important, the loss of his family and community. He goes beyond details of the abuses of Native children to relate a unique understanding of why most residential school survivors have post-traumatic stress disorders and why succeeding generations of First Nations children suffer from this dark chapter in history.

Told as remembrances described with insights that have evolved through his healing, his story resonates with his resolve to help himself and other residential school survivors and to share his enduring belief that one can pick up the shattered pieces and use them for good.

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About the Author

Theodore Fontaine

Theodore (Ted) Fontaineis a member and former chief of the Sagkeeng Ojibway First Nation in Manitoba. He attended the Fort Alexander Indian Residential School from 1948 until 1958 and the Assiniboia Indian Residential School from 1958 to 1960. Theodore is a regular speaker and media commentator on Indian residential schools and has presented Broken Circle to more than 250 audiences in Canada and the United States. Following his tenure as chief and a period of service with the federal government, Theodore served as executive director to the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs for eleven years. He was the lead negotiator for the Assembly in thirty-eight National Employment Equity Agreements to increase the representation of Aboriginal people in federally regulated corporations such as Air Canada, Greyhound Canada, CN Rail, and all of Canada’s major banks and financial institutions. He has worked extensively in the corporate and government sectors and with organizations such as Peace Hills Trust, the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, the Manitoba Museum, the Victorian Order of Nurses, and Palliative Care Manitoba. He has taught Aboriginal governance at the Banff Centre for Management and Conflict Resolution at Royal Roads University. Theodore graduated in Civil Engineering from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 1973 and received his designation in Real Estate Appraisal in 1975. He lives with his wife, Morgan, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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