The Scarf and the Butterfly : A graphic memoir of hope and healing

SKU: 9781774506523

Monica Ittusardjuat
Coco Apunnguaq Lynge & Scott Plumbe
Grade Levels:
Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve
Book Type:
Arvaaq Press
Copyright Date:

Sale price$24.95


Monica Ittusardjuat was taken from her parents and sent to residential school at the age of seven, at a time when Inuit lived a subsistence way of life in winter camps and roamed around in spring and summer, following animals when they were plentiful. She went to three residential schools: Chesterfield Inlet, NWT (now Nunavut), for primary school, Churchill, Manitoba, for junior high, and St. Norbert, Manitoba, for high school. Monica graduated from McGill University in 1987. While teaching Community NTEP (Nunavut Teacher Education Program) in Nunavut, she earned her M.Ed. through the University of Prince Edward Island. She was the honour student for Baffin Island. She taught for many years in elementary schools, high schools, and teacher education programs, as well as in the Interpreter/Translator Program at Nunavut Arctic College. Monica tried to retire at the age of 60, but the habit of going to work was hard to break. She was the National Inuit Language Coordinator at Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami from 2016 to 2018 and is now Senior Inuktitut Editor at Inhabit Education, which she describes as her dream job. Coco Apunnguaq Lynge is a Kalaaleq/Danish illustrator and artist. She was born in Greenland and raised in Denmark, which has made her long for her Greenlandic roots. Scott Plumbe is an award-winning artist.

In this visceral graphic memoir, Monica Ittusardjuat brings readers with her from residential school classrooms to government apologies on her journey to rediscovering what it means to be Inuk. Born prematurely in an iglu on Baffin Island, Monica attended three residential schools over eleven years. She details her resulting struggles with addiction, mental health, and domestic violence, which haunted her into adulthood.

Equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful, Monica’s memoir is a testimony to the lasting impacts of residential schools and one woman’s fight to reclaim what she lost. Full colour illustrations throughout. Audience: Ages 14-18.

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