Up Ghost River

Up Ghost River

A Chief's Journey Through the Turbulent Waters of Native History

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
Rate this:
In the 1950s, 7-year-old Edmund Metatawabin was separated from his family and placed in one of Canada's worst residential schools. St. Anne's, in northernn Ontario, is an institution now notorious for the range of punishments that staff and teachers inflicted on students. Years later, in seeking healing, Metatawabin participated in native cultural training workshops that emphasize the holistic approach to personhood at the heart of Cree culture. Now his mission is to help the next generation of residential school survivors.
Publisher: Toronto : Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2014
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780307399878
Branch Call Number: 971.0049 METATAW
Characteristics: xvii, 316 pages, 10 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map, portraits ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Boyden, Joseph 1966-
Shimo-Barry, Alex


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 30, 2017

Poorly written (in spite of two authors); better suited to young adults.

Jan 23, 2017

This is a must read book for all Canadians. I was a bit afraid to read it as I already know more than I want to know about the residential school system. Although it relates a number horrific residential school experiences, the book is not front to back horror stories. It is so much more. Its about native spiritual beliefs, how traumatic experiences affect an individual, the challenges in getting over trauma and the restrictions that First Nations people faced under the Indian Act that held them back from making a life for themselves. For example: until 1951, they needed a pass from the Indian agent to travel off the reserve, they needed permission to cut down trees on their reserves so could not build their own homes in spite of overcrowding, did not get the right to vote until 1960. Beautifully written. You are not an observer in this story. The writer brings you right into his mind and his world.

brianreynolds Jan 23, 2015

Up front, I'm not a memoire fan. Because I know the author, his parents and siblings, my rating is unabashedly biased. I worked at St. Anne's off and on in the late 70's and early 80's right after the residential students were set free, and I can verify that the building itself and many of the staff even then were hauntingly perverse, a disgrace to the government, the church and Canadians everywhere. I am honoured to have worked with Alex and to have taught Danny. I am fortunate to have lived on both sides of the creek, to have hauled water and made fire in addition to correcting spelling and math. Ed's book says more than I could possibly say about his home and his life. I think you need to read this book. It's not easy, especially if you are white or Canadian or human, but it is important and it is honest. It is a book that pleads for you to understand, to freaking DO something to change things for the better, to try to make things right. I salute your courage, Ed Ten Sunrises. I salute your integrity and your intelligence.

VIRGINIAP123 Oct 18, 2014

This is an excellent book to read.
Edmund is very honest when talking about his childhood and what his thoughts and feelings were, what life was like. He contiues through, schooling at the residential school and on into adulthood.
It helps one to understand what a child's life was like and how it affected them as an adult.
It is difficult to believe that his story takes place in Northern Ontario.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SCCLD

To Top