Sharing, Healing and Learning: Survivor Driven History

Shingwauk rEsidential School
Shingwauk Residential School, circa 1960. Source: Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre.

My latest piece “Sharing, Healing and Learning: Survivor Driven History at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre” was recently published in Education Forum the magazine of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF).

The article discusses the history of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC), the importance of shifting the historical narrative to the Survivor point of view, and the idea of the SRSC as a living archive focused on engagement.  This engagement piece is something that is very dear to my heart and is at the core of my public history and archival practice.

Writing with Education Forum was a great experience.  Many thanks to editor Michael Young for the opportunity and his support throughout the process.

Writers’ Group and Popular Publishing

Photo Credit: jjpacres

I live in a rural area outside of a small town of just over 1,300 people.  The thought of joining a writers group had never occurred to me and I was surprised to find that my local community was actually home to an active writers’ group. Amazement of existence aside, earlier this year I gathered up some courage and joined the group.

The group meets monthly and is made up of people with a wide range of backgrounds and writing goals, including: a full-time technical writer, published and aspiring fiction writers, a reporter for a local paper, and people more interested in personal writing than publication.

The group has facilitated a reexamination of my writing style, has helped me gain confidence in my writing, and has inspired me to chase some of those seemingly far off writing goals.   Since joining the group I’ve started to blog more often, wrote a short paper and presented it at a local conference, and I’ve had an article accepted by a museum association publication. 

This community of writers that I didn’t even know I wanted or needed has been great positive support network and has helped inspire ideas for both fiction and non-fiction writing.   

Do you find talking with others about your writing (academic or otherwise) helpful to the writing or revision process?