They Called Me Number One

They Called Me Number One

Secrets And Survival At An Indian Residential School

Book - 2017
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"Xat'sull Chief Bev Sellars spent her childhood in a church-run residential school whose aim it was to "civilize" Native children through Christian teachings, forced separation from family and culture, and discipline. In addition, beginning at the age of five, Sellars was isolated for two years at Coqualeetza Indian Turberculosis Hospital in Sardis, British Columbia, nearly six hours' drive from home. The trauma of these experiences has reverberated throughout her life. The first full-length memoir to be published out of St. Joseph's Mission at Williams Lake, BC, Sellars tells of three generations of women who attended the school, interweaving the personal histories of her grandmother and her mother with her own. She tells of hunger, forced labour, and physical beatings, often with a leather strap, and also of the demand for conformity in a culturally alien institution where children were confined and denigrated for failure to be White and Roman Catholic. St. Joseph's mission is the site of the controversial and well-publicized sex-related offences of Bishop Hubert O'Connor, which took place during Sellars's student days, between 1962 and 1967, when O'Connor was the school principal. In this frank and poignant memoir, Sellars breaks her silence about the institution's lasting effects, and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. Bev Sellars is chief of the Xat'sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake, British Columbia"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Vancouver : Talonbooks, 2017, c2013.
ISBN: 9780889227415
Characteristics: xx, 227 p. : ill., maps ; 22 cm.


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If you are looking to learn more about First Nations in BC, check out author Bev Sellars. Her childhood memoir They Called Me Number One about life in a church-run residential school is powerful and easy to read. Continue your learning with Sellars’ second book Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival. Price Paid is a personal view of First Nations history in Canada and helps explain the historic reasons for First Nations issues today. Highly recommended! (Submitted by Kristen).

Jul 17, 2017

Poor foreword and preface, but the author's account is decent. Originally a vanity project.

Feb 28, 2017

This happened in my province and I remember when it was on TV and didn't really understand it until I read this book and what the author went through. She did a good job explaining the Indian culture, and what went on in the school and life afterwards for the people who endured the abuse and how it effects their family and culture even now a days. A must read for everyone.

Mar 25, 2015

Important book to read for all who want to begin to understand the stories of our First Nations People.
Bev Sellers is a woman of honour and integrity, thank you for your story.

LaughingOne Oct 01, 2014

As Bev Sellars wrote, she can only tell her own story. That story touches on the lives of her family and friends but it is her story. Each of us can only tell our own stories. That honesty, and Bev's story, tell of the things that happened in the residential school she was forced to attend, mostly bad things, very occasionally better things. We need to witness and honour her story and look inside ourselves for our own related stories, so that we can clearly begin the process of healing. This excellent book should be part of the curriculum for studying Canadian history. Let's not whitewash it any more.

Oct 30, 2013

This is an excellent, eye-opening book outlining a personal history of native peoples in Canada in relation to the residential school system, written by one whose grandparents and parents had also been forced to attend these institutions. We can 't close our eyes. We can't say 'oh, it's the past'. We have to honestly acknowledge the damage done by these institutions in the name of 'religion'. Only by being clear-eyed witnesses, can we in any way make a start at healing. And I'm not only talking about healing those who suffered in the schools, I'm talking about healing the human conscience of the rest of us. This title should be added to the list the library has put up on the main page, highlighting the Truth and Reconciliation meetings.

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Feb 28, 2017

runningbeat thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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