Flowers on My Grave

Flowers on My Grave

How An Ojibwa Boy's Death Helped Break the Silence on Child Abuse

Book - 1997
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When Lester Desjarlais took his own life at the age of 13, what began as a routine inquiry into yet another native suicide grew into a wide-ranging examination of not only his own community but the larger society which could not help him. Written with sensitivity and a profound respect for its subject, Flowers on My Grave tells a shocking story that must be heard.

Tragically typical in too many ways. Lester Desjarlais' life was destroyed by sexual and substance abuse, an unstable home life and a bewildering again journey through a maze of social service foster homes, mental hospitals and treatment centers. As one witness to the tragedy commented, "Lester Desjarlais didn't kill himself. The system killed him".

Ruth Teichroeb dramatically recreates Lester's short life set against the story of his family and community -- Sandy Bay First Nation near Winnipeg -- and the inquest into his death. Scheduled to last a single day, this ultimately far-reaching inquest closed as the longest in Manitobahistory. Covering the events for a local newspaper, Teichroeb soon sensed that behind the recriminations and the politics lay a story that had to be told. Her exploration moved in ever-widening ripples from one boy's anguish to a people's pain -- from the lives of the other Desjarlais children to Sandy Bay itself, to other survivors of abuse who were finally willing to step forward. In the midst of this inquiry, Ruth Teichroeb discovered hope in a few who were willing to

Publisher: Toronto : HarperCollins, c1997.
ISBN: 9780002554299
0002554291
Branch Call Number: 362/.76/089/973/Tei 3588mb 1
Characteristics: xi, 242 p.

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