The truth behind the boy in the picture
Why these often shared images of a boy before and after residential school may not be as they appear
In the first episode of season four, The Secret Life of Canada investigates the history behind one of the most referenced images connected to the Canadian Residential School system.
Often published with the title "Before and After", the photographs come with scant detail about the child in the photos. Who was this boy? What was his name? Where was he from and what happened to him after he was taken from home?
Co-hosts Leah Simone-Bowen and Falen Johnson go deep into the archives. With the help of filmmaker Louise BigEagle and journalist and writer Paul Seesequasis, creator of the Indigenous Archival Photo Project, they try to piece together the details and find that the images themselves may not be exactly as they appear.
What you'll hear this episode
- A detailed description of the two images.
- Why these photographs were taken and what they were used for.
- The history behind the creation of the Regina Indian Industrial School.
- An interview with filmmaker Louise BigEagle
- Details about the life of Thomas Moore Keesick.
- An interview with journalist and writer Paul Seesequasis, the creator of the Indigenous Archival Photo Project.
- A closer look at the two photographs and what they can tell us.
- How early photographic ethnographers constructed images of Indigenous people.
- How the Indigenous Archival Photo Project is working to re-claim historical images.
- More on one of Paul's favourite images (see below) from the archival project.
- 1896 Annual Report of the Department of Indian Affairs No 14 - 1897, Library and Archives Canada.
- I am a Boy, a documentary by Louise BigEagle.
- The Indigenous Archival Photo Project by Paul Seesequasis.
- Truth and Reconciliation Reports from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
- Shattering the Silence: The Hidden History of Indian Residential Schools in Saskatchewan by Shuana Niessen, University of Regina.
- RISS Media Project Facebook Page.
- Thomas Moore Keesick More than Just a Face by Kerry Benjoe, Regina Leader Post.
- The Archaeology of an Image: The Persistent Persuasion of Thomas Moore Keesick's Residential School Photographs by Miranda J. Brady and Emily Hiltz, TOPIA.
- "Why Is the 1994 Confession Important to the Church Today?" Presbyterian Connection Newspaper.