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When I was eight

2013

by Christy Jordan-Fenton, Gabrielle Grimard and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

Based on the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, this book chronicles the unbreakable spirit of an Inuit girl while attending an Arctic residential school. Olemaun is eight and knows a lot of things. But she does not know how to read. Ignoring her father’s warnings, she travels far from her Arctic home to the outsiders’ school to learn. The nuns at the school call her Margaret. They cut off her long hair and force her to do menial chores, but she remains undaunted. Her tenacity draws the attention of a black-cloaked nun who tries to break her spirit at every turn. But the young girl is more determined than ever to learn how to read.

Biography Cross Group Oppression & Resilience

Not my girl

2014

by Christy Jordan-Fenton, Gabrielle Grimard and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

Two years ago, Margaret left her Arctic home for the outsiders' school. Now she has returned and can barely contain her excitement as she rushes towards her waiting family -- but her mother stands still as a stone. This strange, skinny child, with her hair cropped short, can't be her daughter. "Not my girl!" she says angrily. Margaret's years at school have changed her. Now ten years old, she has forgotten her language and the skills to hunt and fish. She can't even stomach her mother's food. Her only comfort is in the books she learned to read at school

Beautiful Life Biography

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