Les bas du pensionnat / Étrangère chez moi
Discover the story of Margaret, a young Inuit from the Far North who leaves her family to attend residential school. Her journey will be extremely hard, and her return home even harder.
These autobiographic books are both deeply moving and fascinating. A must-read about Canada’s residential schools, and the duty never to forget what the indigenous people were forced to endure.
Les bas du pensionnat
Eight-year-old Margaret Pokiak has set her sights on learning to read, even though it means leaving her village in the high Arctic. Faced with unceasing pressure, her father finally agrees to let her make the five-day journey to attend school, but he warns Margaret of the terrors of residential schools.
At school Margaret soon encounters the Raven, a black-cloaked nun with a hooked nose and bony fingers that resemble claws. She immediately dislikes the strong-willed young Margaret. Intending to humiliate her, the heartless Raven gives gray stockings to all the girls -- all except Margaret, who gets red ones. In an instant Margaret is the laughingstock of the entire school.
Complemented by archival photos from Margaret Pokiak-Fenton's collection and striking artwork from Liz Amini-Holmes, this inspiring first-person account of a plucky girl's determination to confront her tormentor will linger with young readers.
Étrangère chez moi
Ten-year-old Margaret can hardly contain her excitement. After two years in a residential boarding school, she is finally headed for home. But when she stands before her family at last, her mother doesn't recognize her, shouting, "Not my girl!" This was hardly the homecoming Margaret expected. She has forgotten her people's language and can't stomach her mother's food. She isn't even allowed to play with her friend Agnes, besause she is now seen as too much like the despised outsiders. She has become a stranger to her own people.
In this extaordinary sequel to Les bas du pensionnat, Margaret must begin a painful journey of learning how to fit again, how to reconcile her old self with the new.