New Book Examines Indian Residential Schools in Canada
Author Robert P. Wells offers interesting perspectives on Indian life in Canada.
Kingston, Ontario – June 26, 2012
In his new book “Wawahte: Subject: Canadian Indian Residential Schools” (published by Trafford Publishing), Robert P. Wells delves into his past and the historic policies he observed as a person growing up in a life governed by laws imposed by the Canadian government on Indian, First Nations or native people.
In “Wawahte” Wells focuses on three people, offering readers an intimate glimpse into their lives and their pasts. By looking at these three native people – Ester, a little Cree girl; Bunnie, a girl abandoned by her family and left to be raised by an Indian residential school; and Stanley, a community elder – Wells hopes to expose what he sees as injustices brought on by policies forcing Indian students into residential schools.An excerpt from “Wawahte”:
“Growing up in the 1940s and ‘50s at my family’s fishing lodge in northwestern Ontario was very different from what my life is now. We were isolated, living in road-less Quetico 104 miles down the railroad track from Fort William and Port Arthur (Now Thunder Bay). We did not have the conveniences of indoor plumbing, electricity, and stores. There was more work to everyday living. Neighbours were few and far between, and as children, we spent much of the time outdoors entertaining ourselves.”
Wells hopes that through engaging the past – his and Canada’s – he can reveal what he calls a dark time for native people and how a “short-sighted societal abuse of human rights, those of the ‘Indian’, was known as a policy of forced integration.”
About the Author
Robert P. Wells, a descendant of his Mi’kmaq great-grandmother, grew up in the Ontario bush and attended Indian residential boarding school.
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