My Decade at Old Sun, My Lifetime of Hell
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My Decade at Old Sun, My Lifetime of Hell is a simple and outspoken account of the sexual and psychological abuse that Arthur Bear Chief suffered during his time at Old Sun Residential school in Gleichen on the Siksika Nation. In a series of chronological vignettes, Bear Chief depicts the punishment, cruelty, abuse, and injustice that he endured at Old Sun and then later relived in the traumatic process of retelling his story at an examination for discovery in connection with a lawsuit brought against the federal government.
He returned to Gleichen late in life-to the home left to him by his mother-and it was there that he began to reconnect with Blackfoot language and culture and to write his story. Although the terrific adversity Bear Chief faced in his childhood made an indelible mark on his life, his unyielding spirit is evident throughout his story.
"A courageous memoir and a must-read for everyone brave enough to learn about residential schools. It’s a tough read—triggering and horrific—but it is also laced with light and the power of culture, language, family, traditions, and learning to trust and try again. It is a life’s work and one to be proud of.”—Richard Van Camp, author of Night Moves
Arthur Bear Chief left Old Sun Residential School at the age of
seventeen. He worked
at Shingwauk Indian Residential
School as a student counsellor, before embarking on a career
with the government, which
included work with the Public
Service Commission of Canada in
Edmonton and Northern Affairs
in Ottawa. He now lives on