Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 15
- Grade: 10
An unsettling study of two tragic events at an Indian residential school in British Columbia which serve as a microcosm of the profound impact the residential school system had on Aboriginal communities in Canada throughout this century. The book's focal points are the death of a runaway boy and the suicide of another while they were students at the Williams Lake Indian Residential School during the early part of this century. Imbedded in these stories is the complex relationship between the Department of Indian Affairs, the Oblates, and the Aboriginal communities that in turn has influenced relations between government, church, and Aboriginals today.
About the author
Elizabeth Furniss was until recently an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Calgary.
A solid addition to the historical record.
Victims of Benevolence: The Dark Legacy of the Williams Lake Residential SchoolIn 1902, nine-year-old Duncan Sticks and a number of other boys attempted to run away from the Williams Lake School operated by the Oblates of the St. Joseph`s Mission. While the others were captured, Duncan was later found dead of exposure. In 1920, Augustine Allan died in a suicide pact with eight other boys, who survived. While this book focuses on the Williams Lake Residential School, these tragedies shed light on the complex relationships between the government, the churches and the Aboriginal population since early exploration to present day. This title includes extensive notes to the text.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2007-2008.