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Going Down the Indian Road

Esteemed poet and author Gary Geddes, once described as “Canada’s best political poet,” has written a thoughtful and thought-provoking review of Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School.



The review will appear in his forthcoming new book, Medicine Unbundled (Heritage House Publishing), which is a history of Canada’s segregated Indian hospitals.

Please do get yourself a copy of Gary’s book as soon as it is available. He has written and edited more than 40 books and received many many literary awards. More importantly, he is a passionate advocate for social justice.

In the meantime, here is an excerpt from Gary’s in-depth review (used with permission):

Going Down the Indian Road

Chris Benjamin’s new book, Indian School Road, is an important contribution to the story of Canada’s residential schools. Although he focuses almost exclusively on the Shubenacadie Residential School, which opened in Hants, Nova Scotia in 1930, his book has wider implications for anyone interested in understanding the mind-set of the architects and administrators of this deadly educational experiment.

Benjamin is less concerned with how this ongoing abuse is disguised than in telling us how it can be overcome: “Only when settler Canada can acknowledge its shameful past with open eyes, without excuses and apply the lessons in those mistakes to justice, shedding our ‘civilized’ sense of superiority, will there be hope for Canada.” Topping the list of necessities to achieve this, he says, is ending “the ongoing attempts by our government to control and assimilate Aboriginal peoples.”