Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through The Turbulent Waters Of Native History

Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through The Turbulent Waters Of Native History

Paperback | May 26, 2015

byEdmund Metatawabin, Alexandra Shimo

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A powerful, raw and eloquent memoir about the abuse former First Nations chief Edmund Metatawabin endured in residential school in the 1960s, the resulting trauma, and the spirit he rediscovered within himself and his community through traditional spirituality and knowledge. Foreword by Joseph Boyden.

     After being separated from his family at age 7, Metatawabin was assigned a number and stripped of his Native identity. At his residential school--one of the worst in Canada--he was physically and emotionally abused, and was sexually abused by one of the staff. Leaving high school, he turned to alcohol to forget the trauma. He later left behind his wife and family, and fled to Edmonton, where he joined a Native support group that helped him come to terms with his addiction and face his PTSD. By listening to elders' wisdom, he learned how to live an authentic Native life within a modern context, thereby restoring what had been taken from him years earlier. Metatawabin has worked tirelessly to bring traditional knowledge to the next generation of Native youth and leaders, as a counsellor at the University of Alberta, Chief in his Fort Albany community, and today as a youth worker, Native spiritual leader and activist. His work championing indigenous knowledge, sovereignty and rights spans several decades and has won him awards and national recognition. His story gives a personal face to the problems that beset Native communities and fresh solutions, and untangles the complex dynamics that sparked the Idle No More movement. Haunting and brave, Up Ghost River is a necessary step toward our collective healing.

   • JOSEPH BOYDEN is a friend, fully supports Metatawabin and the book, and wrote the foreword.

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Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through The Turbulent Waters Of Native History

Paperback | May 26, 2015
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From the Publisher

A powerful, raw and eloquent memoir about the abuse former First Nations chief Edmund Metatawabin endured in residential school in the 1960s, the resulting trauma, and the spirit he rediscovered within himself and his community through traditional spirituality and knowledge. Foreword by Joseph Boyden.     After being separated from his...

EDMUND METATAWABIN, former Chief of Fort Albany First Nation, is a Cree writer, educator and activist. A residential school survivor, he has devoted himself to righting the wrongs of the past, and educating Native youth in traditional knowledge. Metatawabin now lives in his self-made log house in Fort Albany, Ontario, off the reserve b...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.9 inPublished:May 26, 2015Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307399885

ISBN - 13:9780307399885

Customer Reviews of Up Ghost River: A Chief's Journey Through The Turbulent Waters Of Native History

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read and learn. I cried. As a mother my heart went out to the children that had to suffer, and for our children today who still suffer the effects of this horrific period our government's disrespect of an entire culture. Ed conveys in a straight forward, honest reflection of the feelings and fears that drove his actions. Every Canadian should read this book.
Date published: 2015-07-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Powerful story of Canadian Residential School experience I bought this book, read it, then ordered another to share with people because it does such a fine job of telling a story of the horrific torture First Nations children endured in residential schools. Ed Metatawabin actually goes easy on the reader in his descriptions of the abuse forced upon him when he was in school, for it was so vile many readers could not bear to have too much detail. So he leaves it to our imaginations. Then the second half of the book, when he speaks of his struggles to somehow deal with it all, is very powerful, and had me in tears as he learns to speak out and to support others in his community. I recommend this book to all Canadians as a vital tool in understanding Canada's relationship with First Nations.
Date published: 2015-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gut wrenching Reading this book brought home in unforgettable terms the reality of government approved genocide and the importance of the fight against racism. The lessons learned I'll help me on my own journey on the Red Road.
Date published: 2014-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read! Incredible and insightful read. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your learnings so earnestly. Meegweetch.
Date published: 2014-10-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Up Ghost River Very informative, if not disturbing account of the life of the author whom attended Government Catholic schooling for aboriginals and his road to healing from the abuse by caretakers.
Date published: 2014-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Up ghost river Amazing book ! Incredible insight into the residential school "system " . Shame on us Canada , then and now !
Date published: 2014-09-01

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Editorial Reviews

Praise for Up Ghost River:NATIONAL BESTSELLERFinalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction"Up Ghost River is a heart song, a love song to a very special people and place, to a geography and a culture that are a foundation of who we are as a nation." Joseph Boyden, from his foreword"Searing new memoir." Toronto Star "This aptly titled, well-crafted book is an especially poignant reminder of the harm [residential schools] caused.... A memoir containing a polemic wrapped in native history." Winnipeg Free Press