Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Joseph-Auguste Merasty (1930-2017), author and witness, RIP

Augie Merasty, the author (with David Carpenter) of The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir, has died in Prince Albert.
Around the 26th of August, 1935, my father decided it was time for us kids to be taken to Sturgeon Landing by canoe, which was propelled by a four horsepower motor. It took several days to get there on the river.....
Mark Medley reviewed it for the Globe and Mail in 2015:
A collection of handwritten letters transformed into a newly published book, The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir might be one of the most important titles to be published this spring, written by one of the year’s most unlikely authors: an 86-year-old Cree man who lives on the streets of Prince Albert, fighting not only the bottle, but also prostate cancer and dementia. It’s a story of the near-decade he spent at St. Therese Residential School and the “utter cruelty” he both witnessed and suffered. But more than that, it’s a story of resilience and perseverance – the tale of a man not only haunted by his past, but haunted by the fundamental need to tell his own story.
I found Edmund Metatawabin's Up Ghost River to be a more substantial residential schools memoir, but this one needs to be read. It's another achievement for the University of Regina Press and Bruce Walsh, who saw it to publication.
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