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Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through…
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Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through the Turbulent Waters of Native…

by Edmund Metatawabin

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For those of us who are Canadian and not Indigenous, we need to know about our shameful history, and this book is a good way to start. Up Ghost River is a devastating look at the residential school system, intergenerational trauma, healing, and the ways in which the government still mistreats indigenous people today. Edmund Metatawabin also details some ways that you can get involved -- Canada has a sickening past, and there is still a lot that needs to change, and I think we all have a responsibility to make things better. ( )
  bucketofrhymes | Dec 13, 2017 |
A beautiful and inspiring read. Edmund tells the tale of what went wrong in his life and his struggles in a detached manner. It makes you relate to the him the entire book. He possesses a sensitivity that makes you stand in his shoes and experience his life like how he experienced it.

The book was very gripping to me and I feel like I've learnt something out of the whole experience. I do hope their community keeps achieving proper freedom and the Indian Act and other laws get reformed for the better. ( )
  MugenHere | Jul 12, 2015 |
I have worked with the author, and know how difficult he found it, at times, to speak about his experiences even long after he left the residential school. This book is a testimony to his generous spirit in sharing his Knowledge to help others in their own search for healing.

This is a book about the modern-day Indian experience in Canada. It is an important lesson about our history that many should become more familiar with. It is written with honesty. Despite the many challenges Mr. Metatawabin faced, the book is a hopeful one as he works with young people to reclaim what has been lost by Aboriginal communities. ( )
  LynnB | Jun 18, 2015 |
Up Ghost River is less "a chief's journey through the turbulent waters of native history" (as the subtitle suggests) than it is a record of his confrontation with the ghosts of his past. Born in Fort Albany in Northern Ontario, Metatawabin was sent, as a young child, to Saint Anne's, often described as the worst of the residential schools for Aboriginal children. Among the abuses Metatawabin (and others) endured and documents here were sexual abuse, being forced to consume his own vomit, and being made to sit in an electrified chair after he and another boy tried to run away. Along with Catholic Church officials, a Hudson's Bay Company employee is identified as a perpetrator. A good deal of the book looks at the impact this treatment had on Metatawabin. He is painfully honest about his downward spiral into alcoholism, its impact on his marriage and family, and his struggle to pull himself out of addiction with the aid of Aboriginal spiritual practices. The work concludes with reflection on the "Idle No More" movement, in which young Aboriginal Canadians have sought to take back their power. This is a hopeful, informative, and valuable work, which I highly recommend. ( )
1 vote fountainoverflows | Dec 24, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307399877, Hardcover)

A powerful, raw yet eloquent memoir from a residential school survivor and former First Nations Chief, Up Ghost River is a necessary step toward our collective healing.
 
In the 1950s, 7-year-old Edmund Metatawabin was separated from his family and placed in one of Canada’s worst residential schools. St. Anne’s, in north­ern Ontario, is an institution now notorious for the range of punishments that staff and teachers inflicted on students. Even as Metatawabin built the trappings of a successful life—wife, kids, career—he was tormented by horrific memories. Fuelled by alcohol, the trauma from his past caught up with him, and his family and work lives imploded.
 
In seeking healing, Metatawabin travelled to southern Alberta. There he learned from elders, par­ticipated in native cultural training workshops that emphasize the holistic approach to personhood at the heart of Cree culture, and finally faced his alcoholism and PTSD. Metatawabin has since worked tirelessly to expose the wrongdoings of St. Anne’s, culminating in a recent court case demanding that the school records be released to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
 
Now Metatawabin’s mission is to help the next generation of residential school survivors. His story is part of the indigenous resurgence that is happening across Canada and worldwide: after years of oppression, he and others are healing themselves by rediscovering their culture and sharing their knowledge.
 
Coming full circle, Metatawabin’s haunting and brave narrative offers profound lessons on the impor­tance of bearing witness, and the ability to become whole once again.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:29 -0400)

In the 1950s, 7-year-old Edmund Metatawabin was separated from his family and placed in one of Canadas worst residential schools. St. Annes, in northern Ontario, is an institution now notorious for the range of punishments that staff and teachers inflicted on students. Even as Metatawabin built the trappings of a successful lifewife, kids, careerhe was tormented by horrific memories. Fuelled by alcohol, the trauma from his past caught up with him, and his family and work lives imploded. In seeking healing, Metatawabin traveled to southern Alberta. There he learned from elders, participated in native cultural training workshops that emphasize the holistic approach to personhood at the heart of Cree culture, and finally faced his alcoholism and PTSD. Metatawabin has since worked tirelessly to expose the wrongdoings of St. Annes, culminating in a recent court case demanding that the school records be released to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Now Metatawabins mission is to help the next generation of residential school survivors. His story is part of the indigenous resurgence that is happening across Canada and worldwide: after years of oppression, he and others are healing themselves by rediscovering their culture and sharing their knowledge.… (more)

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