The Current

'Monster' by poet Dennis Saddleman: 'I hate you residential school, I hate you'

Last week, the Truth and Reconciliation commission began its final hearings in Edmonton. In May of last year Dennis Saddleman spoke at the Commission. The B.C. man performed some of his poetry, something he says has helped him heal.
Boys in a classroom c. 1945 at St. Anne's Indian Residential School in Fort Albany, Ontario. (Edmund Metatawabin collection/Algoma University)

June 9, 2021 update: After a preliminary report indicated that the remains of around 215 children could be buried on the grounds of Kamloops Indian Residential School, Dennis Saddleman spoke to The Current about his time at the school, and how he discovered a talent for poetry in later life that helped with his healing.

Original story below.



In May of 2013, Dennis Saddleman spoke at the Commission. The B.C. man performed some of his poetry, something he says has helped him heal.

"I hate you residential school, I hate you.

You're a monster.

A huge hungry monster.

Built with steel bones. Built with cement flesh.

You're a monster."

— Excerpt from Dennis Saddleman's poem, 'Monster'

LISTEN | 'I hate you, residential school'

Dennis Saddleman performs his poem Monster, about the residential school he was forced to attend as a child.

 

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