Seepeetza loves living on Joyaska Ranch with her family. But when she is six years old, she is driven to the town of Kalamak, in the interior of British Columbia. Seepeetza will spend the next several years of her life at an Indian residential school. The nuns call her Martha and cut her hair. Worst of all, she is forbidden to “talk Indian,” even with her sisters and cousins.
Still, Seepeetza looks for bright spots — the cookie she receives at Halloween, the dance practices. Most of all, there are her memories of holidays back at the ranch — camping trips, horseback riding, picking berries and cleaning fish with her mother, aunt and grandmother. Always, thoughts of home make school life bearable.
Based on her own experiences at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, this powerful novel by Nlaka’pamux author Shirley Sterling is a moving account of one of the most blatant expressions of racism in the history of Canada.
Includes a new afterword by acclaimed Cree author Tomson Highway of the Barren Lands First Nation in northern Manitoba. Includes two maps in black line.
Written by Shirley Sterling with an afterword by Cree novelist, children’s author, playwright, and musician, Tomson Highway. Shirley Sterling (1948–2005) was Nlaka’pamux. She twice received the Native Indian Teacher Education Alumni Award and held a PhD in Education from the University of British Columbia. My Name Is Seepeetza is based on her childhood experiences at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Acclaimed in Canada and the United States, the book won the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Shirley also won the Laura Steinman Award for Children’s Literature.