Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools: A Memoir

Category: Book
By (author): Fontaine, Theodore
Subject:  BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Native Americans
  HISTORY / Native American
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / Native American Studies
Publisher: Heritage House Publishing
Published: October 2010
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 208
Size: 8.50in x 5.50in x 0.50in
Our Price:
$ 19.95
Availability:
Available: 3-10 days

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

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.

From The Publisher*

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.

Review Quote*

Fontaine has crafted a book that will foster understanding and empathy, as it implicitly asks all readers to examine their own views on this tragic period in our history. -Winnipeg Free Press

Review Quote*

This is a story of healing. Fontaine's first-person account balances difficult memories with an affirmation of pride in his aboriginal heritage. It is in turns heartbreaking and touching, but invaluable for the light it sheds on a dark period in Canadian history. -TechLife Magazine

Review Quote*

"If you believe, as I do, that knowing our past can help us make positive changes in our future, read this book . . . [Theodore] is doing a remarkable service for First Nations, but also helping non-Aboriginal people see the destructive impact of residential schools." -Rosa Walker, President and CEO, Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, Inc.

Review Quote*

"Broken Circle takes readers by the hand and walks us through the lonely corridors of Fort Alexander Indian Residential School. Mr. Fontaine discloses how the trauma he suffered as a result of his incarceration in Canada's Indian residential school system has affected him throughout his life. What I find remarkable about his memoir is the generosity, bravery and open-heartedness with which he shares these sometimes joyous, sometimes painful moments of his life. Ultimately these memories aid him in his personal journey of victory over the enduring legacies of Canada's church-run, government-funded institutions of genocide. In the spirit of reconciliation, Mr. Fontaine brings us to his own healing. And in this way he has added to the healing of us all." -Kevin Loring, author of Where the Blood Mixes

Review Quote*

"First and foremost, Broken Circle is a reflection of Ted's courage. It is also a hopeful, inspirational story that will give courage to other residential school survivors. It will show them that they're not alone and that these unique stories are a part of Canadian history that should be told. Above all, Broken Circle is about healing and reconciliation. It makes its point, but there's nothing vindictive about it. Lovely." -Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, owner/operator of Ishkonigan Consulting & Mediation

Review Quote*

"A commendable and solemn depiction of First Nations life post-1940s and the consequences of residential schools. An important contribution to First Nations literature and history of Indian Residential Schools." -Shawn A-In-Chut Atleo, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations

Review Quote*

"Too many survivors of Canada's Indian residential schools live to forget. Theodore Fontaine writes to remember. It's taken a lifetime to make peace with the pain, shame and fear inflicted upon a little boy wrenched from his family when he was only seven. Ted hasn't forgotten, but he has forgiven. This is what makes his voyage of self-discovery so compelling. This memoir is a life lesson about hope, healing and happiness." -Hana Gartner, CBC's The Fifth Estate

Review Quote*

"Theodore Fontaine has written a testimony that should be mandatory reading for everyone out there who has ever wondered, 'Why can't Aboriginal people just get over Residential Schools?' Mr. Fontaine's life story is filled with astonishing and brutal chapters, but, through it all, time, healing, crying, writing, friends and family, and love-sweet love-have all graced their way into the man, father, son, brother, husband, and child of wonder Theodore has always deserved to be. What a humbling work to read. I'm grateful he wrote it and had the courage to share it. Mahsi cho. -Richard Van Camp, author of The Moon Of Letting Go