My Name Is Seepeetza

My Name Is Seepeetza

Book - 1992
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At six years old, Seepeetza is taken from her happy family life on Joyaska Ranch to live as a boarder at the Kalamak Indian Residential School. Life at the school is not easy, but Seepeetza still manages to find some bright spots. Always, thoughts of home make her school life bearable.

An honest, inside look at life in an Indian residential school in the 1950s, and how one indomitable young spirit survived it.

Publisher: Toronto : Groundwood Books, House of Anansi Press, ©1992
ISBN: 9780888991652
Branch Call Number: STERLIN
Characteristics: 126 pages : map


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Jul 08, 2017

Matter of fact diary account of a schoolgirl, at residential school and then at home. Perfect for teens (or preteens), but also of interest to adults.

vpl_childrens Aug 04, 2016

This autobiographical novel is written in the form of a diary, kept by Seepeetza in the 1950s after she is forced to leave her home and attend residential school in B.C. At school, where she is called Martha Stone, she endures a strictly regimented life during which she is abused and humiliated. She dreams of returning home for summers and holidays. This novel won the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Book Prize when it was first published in 1992.

Mar 22, 2014

didnt like it that much good idea but it could have been better explored.

Jan 20, 2012

Such a heart touching book! Bit of adventure too. I <3 it.

Dec 24, 2009

It?s no secret that the United States has a troubled history with its native populations. American Indians/ Native Americans were prejudiced against, warred with, rounded up, stripped of their cultural heritage, and generally given a very raw deal. Sadly, this is not a history specific to this country. A similar story unfolded in Canada at the same time, and My Name is Seepeetza is a tale about the results of that history. Beginning in the 1940s, the Canadian government forced its native people to send their children to residential boarding schools. The goal was to teach these children how to become ?civilized? members of ?white society.? They were forbidden to practice their cultural traditions, speak in their native languages, or use their own names. The means to enforce this ?civilization? were not gentle. Seepeetza, our young narrator, is renamed Martha at her school in British Columbia in the 1950s. Beaten if she speaks ?Indian,? absued and looked down upon by her teachers, picked on by older students, and only allowed to return home for a few months in the summer, Seepeetza?s childhood is a decidedly difficult one. Her story is highly autobiographical; author Shirley Sterling is a member of the Nlakapamux First Nation of the Interior Salish tribal group in British Columbia and spent her own formative years at a residential school. The Canadian government closer the last of these schools in the 1990s and has since made reconciliation efforts with the country?s Native American population, but it?s a chapter in history that any country would be loathe to dwell on (the United States used similar schools to ?reform? Native Americans). The strength of My Name is Seepeetza lies in its childish voice. Seepeetza is bewildered and afraid; she longs for home but also has a desire to please her superiors at the school. It?s a difficult conflict with no easy solution, and that makes it a history well worth learning.

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Mar 17, 2014

michaelbai thinks this title is suitable for 1 years and over


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A novel based on the author’s harsh experiences as a girl at a residential school in 1950s British Columbia.


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