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My Heart Shook Like a Drum: What I Learned at the Indian Mission Schools, Northwest Territories

Written by
Alice Blondin-Perrin

Cover of My Heart Shook Like a Drum: What I Learned at the Indian Mission Schools, Northwest Territories
Click image for larger view of cover.

206 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780888873750
$19.95 CA

This book is in stock and ships within 48 hours of receipt of order.

About the Book The Canadian Government made it mandatory for all Indian children to attend religious mission schools away from the influences of Indian parents. Alice was raised in four Residential Schools in compliance with Government Legislation. She stayed at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Mission School in Fort Resolution, Federal Hostels in Breynat Hall in Fort Smith, Lapointe Hall in Fort Simpson and Akaitcho Hall in Yellowknife to get educated in the white man's way while suppressing her Indian language, culture, native spirituality and practices in the process of trying to eradicate the Indian in her.
The hurts the Grey Nun supervisors gave Alice lasted a lifetime. Forgiveness came fifty years later in Alice's adulthood when she forgave the Government of Canada and the mean Grey Nun supervisors after so many years of breaking away from the Catholic Church. It was a long process but Alice has relearned Spirituality. "It's time to forget the pain of my childhood which was stolen from me. You can't forget the assaults but can forgive the meanness of certain individuals so life can go on in a better state of mind." This story had to be told so the Canadian public can understand what one Indian child went through in residential schools funded by the Government of Canada

About the Author Alice Blondin-Perrin
Alice Blondin-Perrin is a Dene born in 1948 at Cameron Bay, Northwest Territories, from a good family, Edward and Eliza Blondin. Alice suffered through many years of abuse trying to fit into a new way of life in residential school. She was abused by Grey Nun supervisors upon entering St. Joseph's Roman Catholic School in 1952 at the age of four. She was hit over and over again but, little by little, the system changed her into a boarding-school ideology of being prim and proper while living with no love, no hugs and no explanations about life itself on a daily basis. Everything seemed sinful then.
Upon leaving the residential school institutions, Alice had to learn everything about the outside world by herself and suffered from language barriers between her parents and the community. It took many years to learn about aboriginal culture and traditions, a heritage taken away by Government Initiatives. Despite this, she overcame those barriers by reading thousands of books to self-educate herself about life in general. She worked for thirty years at various jobs and raised two successful daughters. Alice now resides in Quebec with her husband, Dave.

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