About this book

E nâtamukw miyeyimuwin: Residential School Recovery Stories of the James Bay Cree (Volume 1) tells the collected experiences of twenty-one residential school survivors from the Cree territory of Eeyou Istchee. Illustrated by talented Cree youth and published in an accessible format, these accounts are full of hope, humour, and determination. Together, they reveal the astonishing courage and strength of children along with the complexity and myriad methods of their oppressors. A tough, often funny, and ultimately uplifting book that’s not quite like anything else out there. “These Cree stories, told with utmost respect and a feeling of safety, are gifts. They are medicine.”Joanna Campiou, Woodland/Plains Cree Knowledge Keeper


Indian Residential Schools in Canada and the Cree of Eeyou Istchee (James Bay)

IRSIndian Residential School GCGovernment of Canada JBJames Bay HBCHudson's Bay Company RCRoman Catholic Church ANGAnglican Church BIDBritish Indian Department DIA(ND)Department of Indian Affairs (and Northern Development)
N.B.: This timeline is a work in progress, and will evolve as new information is gathered.
1400 to 1800
1423Pope Alexander VI issues Discovery Doctrine: in order for Christianity to "be everywhere increased", lands inhabited by non-Christians should be claimed by Christians. 1620sRecollets introduce mission schools in Canada and struggle with runaways, student deaths, parental reluctance. None last long. 1633After an Indigenous man asks French parents to beat him instead of their own misbehaving son, Jesuit Paul le Jeune notes: "Indian nations of these parts … cannot punish a child." Anticipates "trouble … in carrying out our plans of teaching the young!" 1668British ketch Nonsuch drops anchor off Waskaganish coast. James Bay (JB) Cree find it. Cree-British fur trade begins. Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) is formed. 1755Founding of British Indian Department (BID), a wing of British Army. Without command power, it needs Indigenous Nation consent for any projects. 1756-1763Seven Years' War. Britain and France, competing on four continents for colonial lands and resources, both rely on Indigenous military alliances. Needing more, Britain sends missionaries among Nations. At end, Britain claims Canada. King George III issues Royal Proclamation that Nations are self-governing, and "should not be molested or disturbed" in their lands, and, except for regions "ceded to, or purchased by" British Crown, own the land. 1775-1783Britain, at war with Americans, again relies on Indigenous allies.
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In order to make E nâtamukw miyeyimuwin accessible to all people regardless of physical ability, the book and this website were designed according to accessibility guidelines developed by our team using research from real-world conditions. Certain design choices can make mainstream books more difficult to read. Serifs, kerning, justification, and other aspects of traditional book design all contribute to visual exhaustion. Some books are shaped in a way that makes them harder to hold or handle. The design of E nâtamukw miyeyimuwin might look strange or plain, but most readers – including those whose needs aren't met by mainstream design principles – are able to read much further without tiring. We started out using the same toolkit as mainstream book designs, creating a basic book layout using CNIB guidelines. Using feedback gathered from accessibility advisors and test readers, we then re-designed and re-tested several times to arrive at a final version approved by our team. If you have your own feedback to share on accessible design, please get in touch.