By Sam George with contributions: Jill Yonit Goldberg, Liam Belson, Dylan MacPhee and Tanis Wilson.
The Fire Still Burns is a story of survival and redemption through which Squamish Elder Sam George recounts his residential school experience and how it led to a life of addiction, violence, and imprisonment until he found the courage to face his past and begin healing.
“My name is Sam George. In spite of everything that happened to me, by the grace of the Creator, I have lived to be an Elder.” Set in the Vancouver area in the late 1940s and through to the present day, this unflinching account follows Sam from his idyllic childhood on the Eslhá7an (Mission) reserve to the confines of St. Paul’s Indian Residential School, and then into a life of addiction and incarceration. But an ember of Sam’s spirit always burned within him, and so this is also a story of survival and redemption, of facing past trauma to rebuild a life and a future.
Sam George is a Squamish Elder and a survivor of the Canadian Indian Residential School system. A retired longshoreman and semi-retired drug and alcohol counsellor, Sam now works as an educator with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and speaks with students and community groups about his experiences. Jill Goldberg is a writer, and a literature and creative writing instructor at Langara College in Vancouver, BC, where she teaches the Writing Lives course in which students collaborate with Indian Residential School survivors who are writing their memoirs. She worked with Sam George to bring his story to the page. Liam Belson, Dylan MacPhee, and Tanis Wilson are students who participated in the Writing Lives class where they worked with Sam George to write his story.