Reviews for Broken Circle
"This is an important book to share when helping students understand what it was like to live in residential schools. Broken Circle also offers a significant model of a true story about hope and healing."
—#WeHaveDiverseBooks Catalogue, Association of Canadian PublishersClick here for more
"Fontaine shares his healing journey with grace, insight and respect for where his story ends and another’s begins. His story will speak strongly to any child or parent; his language and imagery are simple, honest and shatteringly relatable. The opportunities for critical thinking are rich, specifically regarding the complex impact of residential schools on individuals, families, communities and Canada as a nation."
—ERAC British Columbia (Educational Resource Acquisition Consortium)Click here for more
“Canadians who advise survivors of Native residential schools to “just get over it,” should read Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools. . . . If the key to successful communication is showing, not telling, a story, Ted Fontaine succeeds completely in demonstrating from his own experience how damaging the “dark legacy” of residential school can be. His story’s upbeat ending also serves as an inspirational example of the lucky minority of survivors who, with help and determination, triumph over that malignant inheritance.”
—Jim Miller, BC StudiesClick here for more
The Tyee excerpts Broken Circle, August 25 and 26, 2011 Click here for more
“If you believe, as I do, that knowing our past can help us make positive changes in our future, read this book . . . [Theodore] is doing a remarkable service for First Nations, but also helping non-Aboriginal people see the destructive impact of residential schools.”
—Rosa Walker, President and CEO, Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, Inc.
“Broken Circle takes readers by the hand and walks us through the lonely corridors of Fort Alexander Indian Residential School. Mr. Fontaine discloses how the trauma he suffered as a result of his incarceration in Canada’s Indian residential school system has affected him throughout his life. What I find remarkable about his memoir is the generosity, bravery and open-heartedness with which he shares these sometimes joyous, sometimes painful moments of his life. Ultimately these memories aid him in his personal journey of victory over the enduring legacies of Canada’s church-run, government-funded institutions of genocide. In the spirit of reconciliation, Mr. Fontaine brings us to his own healing. And in this way he has added to the healing of us all.”
—Kevin Loring, author of Where the Blood Mixes
“First and foremost, Broken Circle is a reflection of Ted’s courage. It is also a hopeful, inspirational story that will give courage to other residential school survivors. It will show them that they’re not alone and that these unique stories are a part of Canadian history that should be told. Above all, Broken Circle is about healing and reconciliation. It makes its point, but there’s nothing vindictive about it. Lovely.”
—Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, owner/operator of Ishkonigan Consulting & Mediation
“A commendable and solemn depiction of First Nations life post-1940s and the consequences of residential schools. An important contribution to First Nations literature and history of Indian Residential Schools.”
—Shawn A-In-Chut Atleo, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations
“Too many survivors of Canada’s Indian residential schools live to forget. Theodore Fontaine writes to remember. It’s taken a lifetime to make peace with the pain, shame and fear inflicted upon a little boy wrenched from his family when he was only seven. Ted hasn’t forgotten, but he has forgiven. This is what makes his voyage of self-discovery so compelling. This memoir is a life lesson about hope, healing and happiness.”
—Hana Gartner, CBC’s The Fifth Estate
“Theodore Fontaine has written a testimony that should be mandatory reading for everyone out there who has ever wondered, “Why can’t Aboriginal people just get over Residential Schools?” Mr. Fontaine’s life story is filled with astonishing and brutal chapters, but, through it all, time, healing, crying, writing, friends and family, and love—sweet love—have all graced their way into the man, father, son, brother, husband, and child of wonder Theodore has always deserved to be. What a humbling work to read. I’m grateful he wrote it and had the courage to share it. Mahsi cho."
—Richard Van Camp, author of The Moon Of Letting Go
"Fontaine has crafted a book that will foster understanding and empathy, as it implicitly asks all readers to examine their own views on this tragic period in our history."
—Winnipeg Free PressClick here for more
"A poignant and powerful story that will help Canadians understand why the residential school system had such a devastating effect . . . ultimately, it is a hopeful and victorious story, as Fontaine found a way through his pain and came to terms with what he saw as “an overwhelming anger” at his parents for abandoning him . . . Broken Circle allows readers to understand that the residential school experience, while damaging to the culture, language, history and beliefs of aboriginal people, is a human story.
—Rocky Mountain OutlookClick here for more
"This is a story of healing. Fontaine’s first-person account balances difficult memories with an affirmation of pride in his aboriginal heritage. It is in turns heartbreaking and touching, but invaluable for the light it sheds on a dark period in Canadian history."
—TechLife MagazineClick here for more