They called us Savages
Written by Marie-Josée Tardif & Dominique Rankin
Finalist 2022 for the prestigious Governor General's Literary Awards!
A powerful and inspiring life story in an era marked by conflict, natural disasters, denunciation of sexual abuse, and the fight against racism...
Born on the banks of the majestic Harricana River in the James Bay region of Quebec, the young Dominique Rankin will live an extraordinary destiny, intimately linked to the major issues shaping tomorrow's world.
First dedicated to his father's succession as Algonquin hereditary chief and medicine man, the assimilation policies promulgated by the Canadian government turned the boy's life upside down. Ripped from his family and the traditional education he was about to receive in the forest, he was forcibly placed in the sadly famous Saint-Marc-de-Figuery residential school, one of the many such institutions operating under the auspices of the state.
Within these walls, Dominique went through a terrible period that marked the lives of thousands of indigenous children like him. Upon leaving this "school for the little savages", he will begin a long journey of healing and self-discovery; a journey that will finally reunite him with his heritage and his true destiny.
Weaving the venerable teachings of the Prophecy of the Seven Fires with his own powerful narrative, from his dramatic birth and childhood training to his days as leader of a nation and full recognition as elder and medicine man a half century later, Chief Dominique Rankin delivers a poignant memoir and a vibrant testimony on respect, forgiveness, and healing. *They Called Us Savages *sees the residential school Survivor, Medicine Man, and former Grand Chief of the Algonquin Nation bare all—— the dark and the light alike—— to unshroud the ravages of colonialism and shed light on the current challenges facing humanity.