Residential school memoir to get a public reading on campus

By Costa Maragos Posted: March 25, 2017 8:00 a.m.

Staff from the Dr. John Archer Library and U of R Press with copies of The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir. The book, published by U of R Press, has been chosen by the Saskatchewan Library Association for its One Book One Province initiative.
Staff from the Dr. John Archer Library and U of R Press with copies of The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir. The book, published by U of R Press, has been chosen by the Saskatchewan Library Association for its One Book One Province initiative. Photo by Rae Graham - U of R Photography

The residential school memoir of Augie Merasty is about to be told by a variety of voices.

A public reading of the bestselling book takes place Monday, March 27 at 11:45 a.m. at the Research and Innovation Centre Atrium (RIC) of the Main Campus. The book, published by U of R Press, was chosen by the Saskatchewan Library Association for its One Book One Province initiative held during March.

The book, published by U of R Press, was chosen by the Saskatchewan Library Association for its One Book One Province initiative held during March. People across the province are being asked to read The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir.

The book was chosen for its potential to promote tolerance and understanding while appealing to a broad, diverse, and contemporary audience.

Augie Merasty Side Photo


Public events have been held across Saskatchewan. The campus event will include students, faculty, and staff from various units on campus.

“It is exciting for all of us to be part of a province-wide event in such a visible way. Obviously, we want people to come to know Augie's very personal story, and hope that listeners will be inspired to pick the book up or borrow it from the library and read it again themselves or with friends,” says Brett Waytuck, University Librarian.

The Education of Augie Merasty is a 2015 memoir about a Cree trapper’s childhood experience in a Northern Saskatchewan residential school. It was written by Joseph Auguste Merasty in collaboration with author David Carpenter. The story has resonated with readers across Canada and is now required reading in many Saskatchewan schools.

Merasty was not able to take part in the month-long celebration of his story. He passed away last month at the age of 87.

“We thought this public reading was a really good way of highlighting the book for all members of the University community,” says Waytuck. “We also think it is a fitting tribute to Augie. When you read the introduction to the book by David Carpenter, you understand how much Augie wanted this tale to be shared with everyone. We are honoured to be able to recognize his literary and personal courage through this event.”

People are encouraged to visit and stay for as much of the public reading as possible.

“This event has been designed so that people can come and go throughout the reading,” says Waytuck. “Coffee, tea, bannock and fruit kebabs will also be offered as an added inducement for active listening.”

Event:  The Education of Augie Merasty. A University public reading.
Date:    Monday, March 27
Time:    11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Venue:  RIC Atrium– Main Campus