My Name is Seepeetza
An honest look at life in an Indian residential school in Canada in the 1950s, and how one indomitable young spirit survived it. This is the 30th anniversary edition of this important contribution to Canadian and young adult literature.
By Shirley Sterling
Seepeetza loves living on Joyaska Ranch with her family. But when she is six years old, she is driven to the town of Kalamak, in the interior of British Columbia. Seepeetza will spend the next several years of her life at an Indian residential school. The nuns call her Martha and cut her hair. Worst of all, she is forbidden to “talk Indian,” even with her sisters and cousins.
Still, Seepeetza looks for bright spots—the cookie she receives at Halloween, the dance practices. Most of all, there are her memories of holidays back at the ranch—camping trips, horseback riding, picking berries and cleaning fish with her mother, aunt and grandmother. Always, thoughts of home make school life bearable.
Based on her own experiences at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, this powerful novel by Nlaka’pamux author Shirley Sterling is a moving account of one of the most blatant expressions of racism in the history of Canada.
Includes a new afterword by acclaimed Cree author Tomson Highway of the Barren Lands First Nation in northern Manitoba.
Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize Winner
Governor General's Literary Award Finalist
Cover design by Lucia Kim
Cover beadwork by Speplól Tanya Zilinski (Anishinaabe)
Published by Groundwood Books
30th Anniversary Edition, 2022
Softcover, 144 pages, 5.25 × 8 inches