Broken Circle

Broken Circle

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Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of the Indian Residential Schools by Theodore

Genre: Memoir

Originally published: 2010

About the Book: 

A new commemorative edition of Theodore Fontaine's powerful, groundbreaking memoir of survival and healing after years of residential school abuse.

Originally published in 2010, Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools chronicles the impact of Theodore Fontaine’s harrowing experiences at Fort Alexander and Assiniboia Indian Residential Schools, including psychological, emotional, and sexual abuse; disconnection from his language and culture; and the loss of his family and community. Told as remembrances infused with insights gained through his long healing process, Fontaine goes beyond the details of the abuse that he suffered to relate a unique understanding of why most residential school survivors have post-traumatic stress disorders and why succeeding generations of Indigenous children suffer from this dark chapter in history. With a new foreword by Andrew Woolford, professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Manitoba, this commemorative edition will continue to serve as a powerful testament to survival, self-discovery, and healing.

About the Author: 

Born at Sagkeeng Anishinaabe First Nation on 7 September 1941, he attended the Fort Alexander Residential School (1948-1958) and Assiniboia Residential School (1958-1960), played senior hockey across western Canada, led a mineral exploration crew in the North West Territories, and was trained in civil engineering at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (1973). He served as Chief of the Sagkeeng First Nation (1978-1980) and spent 11 years as Executive Director of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.

His residential school experience left traumatic memories that were captured in his best-selling book Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools, A Memoir (2010, 2022). He later travelled across Canada and the United States to share these experiences.

He died at Winnipeg on 10 May 2021. He is commemorated by Theodore Niizhotay Park in Winnipeg.