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Beatrice Silver Tallio tells the story of her childhood as a Sto:lo girl in the Sumas community.
Leaving home to live at Indian Residential School was an inevitable event - attendance was compulsory for native children - but all her many older siblings had already been
attending for many years. They never talked about the school. But her brothers told her they were preparing her for school... when they taught her how to box, with cedar gloves.
Bea tells about what it was like. She did not like school. But her experience was not so violent as some. This is not a documentary book, it is a readable, relatable memory of a childhood on the farm, which was disrupted early on by a colonial force that intended the destruction of families like hers - Indigenous families.
In collaboration with students of visual arts, this story allows the reader into the infamous school and into the shoes of a little girl student - as recalled by an Elder grandmother.
Bea Silver Tallio is a Sto:lo Elder and former Chief of Sumas First Nation.
I Pass The Torch To You
By Beatrice Silver Tallio
A portrait of Bea Silver Tallio.
Portrait and cover art by students of Robert Bateman Secondary School's Art Activism program.