In this poetic, poignant memoir, Dene artist and social activist Antoine Mountain paints an unforgettable picture of his journey from residential school to art school—and his path to healing.
In 1949, Antoine Mountain was born on the land near Radelie Koe, Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories. At the tender age of seven, he was stolen away from his home and sent to a residential school—run by the Roman Catholic Church in collusion with the Government of Canada—three hundred kilometres away. Over the next twelve years, the three residential schools Mountain was forced to attend systematically worked to erase his language and culture, the very roots of his identity.
While reconnecting to that which had been taken from him, he had a disturbing and painful revelation of the bitter depths of colonialism and its legacy of cultural genocide. Canada has its own holocaust, Mountain argues.
As a celebrated artist and social activist today, Mountain shares this moving, personal story of healing and the reclamation of his Dene identity.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
From Bear Rock Mountain lays out a story of colonialism and cultural genocide that’s impossible to ignore. Antoine Mountain’s first-person account of life in a residential school is unforgiving, but the richness he’s drawn from his experiences feels almost miraculous. Born into a family of artists, Mountain has emerged as an exquisite painter who represents northern Canadian culture and life. Through poems, anecdotes, and images—including a stirring collection of photos and some of his own artwork—Mountain chronicles his journey. Reading his book feels like flipping through someone’s family album and absorbing their indelible stories of heartbreak and resilience.