Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Indian School Days” as Want to Read:
Indian School Days
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Indian School Days

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  13 reviews
This book is the humorous, bitter-sweet autobiography of a Canadian Ojibwa who was taken from his family at age ten and placed in Jesuit boarding school in northern Ontario. It was 1939 when the feared Indian agent visited Basil Johnston’s family and removed him and his four-year-old sister to St. Peter Claver’s school, run by the priests in a community known as Spanish, 7 ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 15th 1990 by University of Oklahoma Press (first published March 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Indian School Days, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Indian School Days

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  84 ratings  ·  13 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Czarny Pies
Sep 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: First Nation and New Arrival citizens of my country.
Recommended to Czarny by: My parish priest who had known Johnston.
Shelves: canadian-history
In 2005, the Canadian Federal Government and the representatives of Canada's First Nations arrived at $1.9 billion settlement package to for members of the First Nations who had attended the residential schools operated under the guidance of the Federal Ministry of Indian Affairs and consequently suffered abuse. The fact that such a settlement was agreed to indicates that physical and psychological abuse did indeed occur in the schools up until the time the last ones were closed in 1998 to be re ...more
May 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
After reading Basil JohnstonsMermaids and Medicine Women: Native Myths and Legends I went on to read Manitous: The Spiritual World Of The Ojibway. Intrigued to read more, I discovered that he had written his memoirs of his time in a residential school in the 1930s and 40s.
Although Johnston does not mention any incidences of sexual abuse, it is still heart wrenching reading about how he and his school mates were taken away from their families, often not seeing them again for years.
In spite of t
Aurora Dimitre
This was... good. Interesting--different from what I thought it was going to be, and like, in a good way. I thought this was going to be like, super academic and boring, but it wasn't. It was an actually very engagingly written memoir, and I really enjoyed it. It was a good time, man.
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An amazing autobiography - while Johnston's account is infused with humour, underneath lies an emotionally devastating portrayal of the residential school experience - Johnston is a gentle storyteller but that doesn't mean that he fails to portray the world of Garnier Indian Residential as anything other than soul-destroying
Extremely memorable. This book really opened my eyes as to how the native American children were taken from their families and the hardships they endured at these boarding schools.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mahpara Talat
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
This a was different book in Canadian Indigenous Literature as the writer has a very humerous account of all the tragedies of residential schools yet the tragedies can still be seen through those light and witty comments. I found the book very repitative and a bit boring by the end. A must read for any body interested in indigenous education in general and residential schools specifically.
Canadian 791
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
An exceptional account of life in a residential school for indigenous children in mid-twentieth century Ontario, from the perspective of the author, who went on to become a lecturer in Ethnology at the Royal Ontario Museum. I highly recommend this book.
Basil Johnston was, with his four-year-old sister Marilyn, effectively kidnapped in 1939 by an Indian agent who had decided, with a local priest, that the Johnston kids' mother and grandmother couldn't possibly cope with five children, especially after their mother and father had separated. Like many Native waifs, orphans, and children of broken homes in his area of northern Ontario, Basil was sent to St. Peter Claver's Indian Residential School (from 1945 on, the Garnier Residential School) and ...more
Although, it has been some time, I've read Ojibway Heritage by Basil Johnston, therefore, i expected something a bit different in terms of voice.
Andrea Robinson
I read this book 20 years ago and remember it being an interesting read.
rated it really liked it
Jun 15, 2018
Carolyn Mckay
rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2013
rated it liked it
Oct 08, 2018
Joseph Connolly
rated it really liked it
Jul 15, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jan 23, 2013
rated it really liked it
Jan 23, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jan 23, 2012
rated it really liked it
Aug 08, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2013
Remy Ventura
rated it liked it
Mar 22, 2014
Esme Tremblay
rated it liked it
Jul 12, 2015
Kelly Freman
rated it it was amazing
Mar 08, 2014
Susan Finck
rated it really liked it
Jan 11, 2017
rated it liked it
Oct 31, 2018
rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Oct 24, 2016
Stephanie Strachan
rated it really liked it
Feb 02, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Aug 29, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Basil H. Johnston (born 13 July 1929) is a Canadian writer, storyteller, language teacher and scholar.

For his work in preserving Ojibwa language and culture, he has received the Order of Ontario and Honorary Doctorates from the University of Toronto and Laurentian University. Basil has also received the Aboriginal Achievement Award for Heritage and Spirituality.

(from Wikipedia)