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My Story: Joseph Metatawabin Jr.

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Catalogue Number:  SGE002
Producer:  Susan G. Enberg Productions Inc.
Subject:   Indigenous Issues
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2021
Running Time:  33:37


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Joseph Metatawabin Jr. tells the story of his life in his language, Omushkego Cree. Translation of his interview to English is by Edmund Metatawabin, one of his first cousins.

Joseph was forced to attend St. Anne’s Residential School in Fort Albany, Ontario, in the early 1950s where he and other students were dehumanized and abused by priests, bishops, nuns and workers at the school. It was law, notably the Indian Act, that dictated that Indigenous children attend and live at the school where they were removed from the purview and comforts provided by their families and communities. There the children were brutally beaten, forced to eat their own vomit, and humiliated in front of other students. Childhoods were lost within moments of arriving at St. Anne’s.

Once leaving the school, Joseph embarked on a healing journey by returning to the land and traditional ways. Throughout his adult life, Joseph’s objective was to lead his family and young people in the region back to traditional ways of living.

NOTE: This interview is part of the award-winning documentary project, In Jesus’ Name: Shattering the Silence of St. Anne’s Residential School

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