Reconciliation Reading Series (#4): “They Called Me Number One”
This event series took place in February 2023
“Establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country. In order for that to happen, there has to be awareness of the past, an acknowledgement of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes, and action to change behaviour.” - Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report . Learn more about Reconciliation on the Indigenous Corporate Training Inc website.
Spiritual Path to Awakening (SPA) is proud to introduce Julia Rohan’s Reconciliation Reading Series, as an opportunity for learning and dialogue related to reconciliation. SPA takes pride in our commitment to making Indigenous Knowledge and Truth and Reconciliation an integral part of our event culture.
The primary focus of the series will be on Indigenous authors from across Turtle Island but may also include books from indigenous allies who use their writing to advocate in solidarity with Indigenous peoples. If you have a novel to suggest, kindly email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The fourth Reconciliation Reading Series will take place over 4-weeks in February and focus on “They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School” by Bev Sellars, 2013. In this frank and poignant memoir of her years at St. Joseph’s Mission, Sellars breaks her silence about the residential school’s lasting effects on her and her family—from substance abuse to suicide attempts—and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. Number One comes at a time of recognition—by governments and society at large—that only through knowing the truth about these past injustices can we begin to redress them. The full book description and about the author can be found below & on the Talonbooks website.
As an attendee of the Reconciliation Reading Series, you are responsible for obtaining your own copy of the novel and having the first 55 pages, or end of Chapter 4, read by the first session on Monday, February 6, 2023. SPA has created a suggestion list on where to get your copy HERE.
Registered attendees will be provided a digital “Book Study Guide,” developed by the facilitator, by email ahead of the first session. Upon registering, you will be prompted to download a digital document that contains all the event details. Please email email@example.com if you have difficulty downloading the pdf.
Reconciliation Reading Series (#4): “They Called Me Number OneSecrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School” by Bev Sellars, 2013
Weekly: Monday, February 6, 2023 - Monday, February 27, 2023 [**NOTE: the Family Day holiday Mon. Feb. 20/23 session is pushed to Tuesday, February 21/23]
Downtown Abbotsford, Conference Room B, Trinity Memorial United Church
1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (each week)
$40.00 (total for the full 4-week series)
This event is open to all members of the community. Space is limited, please pre-register on the SPA website to reserve your spot. The first attendee to register will receive an Indigenous artwork tote bag, purchased locally from The Book Man.
Trinity Memorial United Church is located at 33737 George Ferguson Way in downtown Abbotsford, BC. V2S 2M4. Free parking is available onsite (in the church parking lot) for event attendees. The event will take place in “Conference Room B,” located on the upper level of the church. Entry points: the office’s entrance if you’re comfortable with stairs or accessible entry via the sanctuary. Both entry points are located off Trinity Street.
By attending this event, you consent to you and your party (if applicable) potentially having your photo taken. The photos may be shared on the website and/or social media accounts for Spiritual Path to Awakening and the event facilitator.
By registering for this event, you also agree to SPA's Event Ticket Cancellation Policy, downloadable HERE.
Kindly note, there is no outside food permitted at SPA events.
ABOUT THE EVENT FACILITATOR:
Julia Rohan is an author, singer-songwriter and visual artist. A graduate of the Honours English Literature program (with Distinction) at Concordia University in Montreal, she has since self-published a fantasy trilogy (“The Weaverworld Trilogy”) and produced two CDs of original music. In 2002 she was a runner-up in the CBC-QWF short story contest.
Since moving to BC in 2018, she has published two more books. One is a work of local history entitled “The Trethewey Women: 1800-1900”, available through Heritage Abbotsford Society. The other, a book of quotes, poems, prayers, photographs and lyrics by various contributors, is available from the author and at local retailers. Titled “Everyday Inspirations”, it includes her own work as well as that of friends and famous writers throughout the centuries.
Julia has been twice nominated for the Abby Award given out annually by the Abbotsford Arts Society – once in 2019 and again in 2020. She is currently at work on a book regarding certain women in the Bible. She and her husband, retired architect Ted Yudelson, enjoy sharing their passions with others – and Reconciliation is high on their list of priorities.
ABOUT THE NOVEL:
44 weeks on the B.C. Bestsellers list in 2013 & 2014!
First Nation Communities READ – Periodical Marketers of Canada Aboriginal Literature award (2017–2018), Finalist
Burt Award for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Literature (2014), 3rd Prize
Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize (B.C. Book Prizes, 2014), Finalist
Named one of 15 memoirs by Indigenous writers you need to read (CBC Books, 2017)
They Called Me Number One
Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
By Bev Sellars
Like thousands of Aboriginal children in Canada, and elsewhere in the colonized world, Xatsu’ll chief Bev Sellars spent part of her childhood as a student in a church-run residential school.
These institutions endeavored to “civilize” Native children through Christian teachings; forced separation from family, language, and culture; and strict discipline. Perhaps the most symbolically potent strategy used to alienate residential school children was addressing them by assigned numbers only—not by the names with which they knew and understood themselves.
In this frank and poignant memoir of her years at St. Joseph’s Mission, Sellars breaks her silence about the residential school’s lasting effects on her and her family—from substance abuse to suicide attempts—and eloquently articulates her own path to healing. Number One comes at a time of recognition—by governments and society at large—that only through knowing the truth about these past injustices can we begin to redress them.
From the Talonbooks website
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bev Sellars was chief of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake, British Columbia, for more than 20 years, and she now serves as a member of its Council. Sellars was ﬁrst elected chief in 1987 and has spoken out on behalf of her community on racism and residential schools and on the environmental and social threats of mineral resource exploitation in her region.
From the Talonbooks website