Celia Haig-Brown’s book Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School was one of the first texts to describe the experiences of residential school survivors from their perspectives, particularly those who had been forced to attend the Kamloops Indian Residential School.
It was published in 1988. Since then, many more books have been published by Indigenous writers, academics and survivors detailing those experiences. News outlets have written hundreds of stories. And the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was created, releasing reports and sharing survivors’ experiences.
But when Haig-Brown set out to write her book more than three decades ago, there was very little to compare it with — and that presented its own challenges, including pushback from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous readers, because the legacy of residential schools had barely been questioned outside of Indigenous communities up to that point.