The Education of Augie Merasty
A Residential School Memoir
ISBN: 978-0-88977-368-4
Series: The Regina Collection 2
Year: 2015
Pages: 120
Binding: Casebound

"This story of a child is heartbreaking and important. It brings into dramatic focus why we need reconciliation." - James Daschuk, author of Clearing the Plains

This memoir offers a courageous and intimate chronicle of life in a residential school. 

Now a retired fisherman and trapper, the author was one of an estimated 150,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Metis children who were taken from their families and sent to government-funded, church-run schools, where they were subjected to a policy of "aggressive assimilation." 

As Augie Merasty recounts, these schools did more than attempt to mold children in the ways of white society. They were taught to be ashamed of their native heritage and, as he experienced, often suffered physical and sexual abuse. 

But, even as he looks back on this painful part of his childhood, Merasty's sense of humour and warm voice shine through. 


A Note on the Text




Augie and Me: An Introduction, by David Carpenter —ix


ONE School Days, School Days—1

TWO Hard Times—11

THREE The Passion of Sister Felicity—17

FOUR The Loves of Languir and Cameron—23

FIVE Brotherly Love and the Fatherland—29

SIX Father Lazzardo among the Children—37

SEVEN Sisters of the Night—41

EIGHT Lepeigne—45

NINE Revenge—51




Afterword, by David Carpenter—65

Acknowledgements  —75

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

Merasty, Joseph Auguste, author 

          The education of Augie Merasty : a residential school memoir / Joseph 
Auguste Merasty with David Carpenter.

Issued in print and electronic formats. 

ISBN 978-0-88977-368-4 (bound).--ISBN 978-0-88977-370-7 (html).--
ISBN 978-0-88977-369-1 (pdf)

          1. Merasty, Joseph Auguste--Childhood and youth.  2. Cree Indians--

Canada--Biography.  3. Native students--Canada--Biography.  4. Indians of 
North America--Canada--Residential schools.  5. Cree Indians--Education--
Canada.  I. Carpenter, David, 1941-, author  II. Title.  III. Title: Augie 

E96.5.M47 2015       371.829'97071     C2015-901681-9      C2015-901682-7

David Carpenter

David Carpenter is an award-winning author whose most recent works include The Literary History of Saskatchewan, Volumes 1 & 2. He lives in Saskatoon, SK.

Joseph A. Merasty

Joseph Auguste Merasty attended St. Therese Residential School in Sturgeon Landing, SK, from 1935 to 1944. He lives in Prince Albert, SK.
"Merasty's story is a testament to Aboriginal resilience....his innocence was annihilated, his development destroyed....Merasty remained silent for six decades. This book helped him relieve the pain and exorcise his ghosts."
Dianne Meili, Alberta Reviews
"Merasty offers a courageous and candidly intimate chronicle of life in a residential school....A truly extraordinary memoir by a truly extraordinary man."
, Midwest Book Reviews
"Augie's time at St. Therese was only half the story."
Kevin Plummer, Active History
"A stark but poignant account of Mr. Merasty's time at St. Therese Residential School....The short memoir deals with the challenging subject matter of residential school history, and is well suited to a teenage audience because of its brevity and frankness."
J.D.M Stewart, Globe and Mail
"The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir is a heartbreaking but important read for everyone if they truly want to understand what went on in the residential schools."
Christine Smith (McFarlane),
"The Education Of Augie Merasty is an odd and absorbing memoir....the book documents a dark corner of our nature that psychologists call social proof."
, Blacklock's Reporter
"Merasty was whipped with a corrugated garden hose. He was a little boy."
Heather Mallick, Toronto Star

Table of Contents

Responses and Reflections 

Carleton U. graduate student Mara Selanders on the role of memoir in ensuring that residential school stories remain a vital record of Canada's history 

The Creative Industries Transition Fund is made possible through funding that was provided to the Saskatchewan Arts Board by the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.