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Author on residential schools: ‘Canadians don’t know’

The following is an excerpt from an article by Maia Kowalski that originally appeared in The Signal on October 16, 2015:

SMU talk
Author Chris Benjamin talks about the history of the Schubenacadie Residential School.   Maia Kowalski


Speaking to a small crowd at Saint Mary’s University last night, [Chris Benjamin] said he was surprised by how much the survivors opened up to him in his interviews.

“Usually the response is, ‘people need to know,’” he said. “I think that’s sort of a mission that certain survivors have taken on, [because] they still feel Canadians don’t know – and they don’t – and they want to get their stories out there.”

Benjamin was on a “university book tour,” supporting his 2014 book, “Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School.”

Read the full article.


Musquodoboit Harbour Literary Fair

Chris Benjamin will be at the Literary Fair in Musquodoboit Harbour in the Old School Gathering Place on November 7 from 1-4 pm. This event is part of a weekend long celebration of authors and words:

musquodoboit harbour literary event

Saturday, November 7

Afternoon Readings from 1 to 4 pm. There will also be a book fair during this time with signings by local authors.

Jenni Blackmore     1:00-1:10

Chris Benjamin 1:10-1:20
Anne Simpson         1:20-1:30
Donna Morrissey   1:30-1:40
Ian Colford               1:40-1:50

Tea Demonstration          2:00-2:30

Art Burton                            2:30-2:40

Melanie Mosher                 2:40-2:50
Melody Fitzpatrick             2:50-3:00
Vivien Gorham                    3:00-3:10

Steve Vernon                      3:10-3:20

L.P. Suzanne Atkinson      3:20-3:30
Gerald Daye                          3:30-3:40

Rowland Marshall              3:40-3:50

Brett Loney                          3:50-4:00

From 7 to 9 pm

Deirdre Dwyer                    7:15-7:30

Genevieve Graham            7:30-7:45

Bethana Sullivan                 7:45-8:00

Karen Schlick                       8:00-8:15

Patrick Woodcock             8:15- 8:30

Lessons learned on the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees

This Q&A originally appeared in The Coast, July 23, 2015.

Ashram Parsi has saved thousands, but still has a ways to go.

In 2005, Iranian queer activist Arsham Parsi became a refugee in Canada. Through his Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees, he’s helped more than 1,100 other LGBTQIA Iranians escape a country where the punishment for having a same-sex relationship is death. In Halifax, LGBTQIA Iranians are supported by the Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia. The city is also home to Fernwood Publishing, which recently released Exiled for Love, a memoir Parsi wrote with Dalhousie University graduate Marc Colbourne. The authors spoke with The Coast about their new book.

Marc, why did you want to write this book?
Read more

Newfoundland Poet Mark Callanan in Atlantic Books Today

The following is an excerpt from a column about  young writers in Atlantic Canada, written by Chris Benjamin and published in Atlantic Books Today in June 2015. This column focused on Newfoundland poet Mark Callanan:

In the mid nineties Mark Callanan could have been a portrait of proto-teen, banging awkwardly at a guitar trying to make up songs. You know, working on his music. It didn’t take him long to realize Read more

NBA Analytics article from Men’s Journal

The following is an excerpt from an article published by Men’s Journal in June 2015, called “The 4 Fallacies of NBA Analytics,” based on an interview with economist David Berri:

In recent years, basketball fans and writers have shed heavy pixels and ink on the ascendancy of geeks over jocks in pro sports. Heavy number crunching – complete with new stats and endless logarithms – have taken over the games we love.

And yet, according to one of the thinkers who sparked the statistical revolution, most NBA teams still don’t know squat about how to win with numbers. David Berri co-authored his now-classic Wages of Wins: Taking Measure of the Many Myths in Modern Sport nearly a decade ago. His work has focused on understanding which statistics most impact the desired outcome: winning.

“Wins in the NBA are determined by Read more

Environmental Columns from Halifax Magazine

The following is an excerpt from the April 2015 Halifax Magazine essay called “Time for a Revolution,” by Chris Benjamin.

Once upon a time the world waited breathlessly for someone to perfect the horseless carriage. But soon the gadgetry proved less significant than the infrastructure around it.

A German named Benz built what we now think of as the first car. But it was Henry Ford who came up with efficient means of production to make automobiles affordable for the masses.

And then you had the Read more

Saint Mary’s University presents journalist Chris Benjamin’s Indian School Road

Thursday, October 15 at 4:30 pm, Saint Mary’s University presents Chris Benjamin, journalist and author of Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School.

Where? At the Loyola Academic Complex (5865 Gorsebrook Avenue) –  Room 175.

Everyone welcome!


“…a gut-wrenching and much-needed historical work…I’d like to see Indian School Road as mandatory reading in all Canadian high schools and universities.” –Marjorie Simmins, The Antigonish Review

“It’s a powerful, hard-hitting book that will bring the whole sordid history of the schools to new audiences.”
–Paul Bennett, Chronicle Herald

“Reading this book will at least get us past the comfortable lies.”
–Jon Tattrie, Atlantic Books Today

Through research, interviews and first-hand testimony, journalist Chris Benjamin guides readers through the tragic history of the Shubenacadie Indian Residential School, including the stories of students, principals, and teachers from its founding in 1930 to present.

Indian School Road Comes to Port Hawkesbury

Public Talk by Chris Benjamin

author of Indian School Road:

Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School


indian school road

Winner of the 2013 Dave Greber Freelance Writers Award for Social Justice writing

When: Wednesday, 13 October 2015, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm


Nova Scotia Community College

Port Hawkesbury Campus Theatre

226 Reeves St. Port Hawkesbury


“This book demonstrates vividly the wounds and scars accumulated by the incarcerated children will not heal in their lifetimes”

– Daniel Paul


“It’s a powerful, hard-hitting book that will bring the whole sordid history of the schools to new audiences.”

– Paul Bennett, the Chronicle Herald


All are welcome!


Public Talk by Author Chris Benjamin

To help Mount Saint Vincent University commemorate Mi’kmaq History Month (October), award-winning author Chris Benjamin will be speaking about his book, Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School (Nimbus, 2014).

October 7 at 12:00–13:30
Mount Saint Vincent University (166 Bedford Highway, Halifax) in
Seton Building, Auditorium D

Indian School Road book talks at NS Universities

The Indian School Road Fall 2015 University Book Tour continues with two events next week!

Tuesday, Sept 29, 4:30 – 6:30 pm, at Dalhousie University’s McCain Arts & Social Sciences Building (6135 University Avenue), Room 2012, in Halifax, Chris Benjamin will give a talk on the Shubenacadie Residential School based on his book, Indian School Road.

On Wednesday, Sept 30, 7:00-9:00 pm, at StFX University’s MacKay Lounge (in the Bloomfield Centre) in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Chris Benjamin will give a talk on the Shubenacadie Residential School based on his book, Indian School Road.