Thursday April 16, 2015

Residential school survivor Augie Merasty: 'We were treated like animals'

Augie Merasty was forced to walk 20 miles in subzero weather simply because he lost a mitten and then got the strap when he came back to St. Therese residential school empty-handed. He recounts surviving the abuse of the Manitoba residential school in "The Education of Augie Merasty."

Augie Merasty was forced to walk 20 miles in subzero weather simply because he lost a mitten and then got the strap when he came back to St. Therese residential school empty-handed. He recounts surviving the abuse of the Manitoba residential school in "The Education of Augie Merasty." (Pekka Nikrus, Flickr cc)

Listen 22:00

"I wanted to tell the world how we were treated as Indian kids. It was a terrible place to be to tell you the truth" - Augie Merasty

Augie Merasty, or Joseph Auguste Merasty, was a young boy getting in trouble for swearing in Cree at an Indian Residential School called St Therese Residential School, in Sturgeon Landing, Manitoba.

Augie Merasty was just five-years-old when he first went there, late in the summer of 1935.

Like so many aboriginal children, he experienced abuse. And like so many others, he didn't talk about what happened inside those walls after he grew up.

But now he has. He's put his story down in a new book called, "The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir."

David Carpenter spent more than a decade helping to write that memoir. He was in Campbell River, B.C.

Arlene Merasty is Augie Merasty's daughter. She was in La Ronge, Saskatchewan. 
 

This segment was produced by The Current's Josh Bloch.