CODE is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Joseph (Augie) Merasty, co-author of The Education of Augie Merasty – A Residential School Memoir – one of last year’s winning titles of CODE’s Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature.
The book was co-written with writer David Carpenter who helped Augie tell his heart-breaking story of physical and sexual abuse at the St. Thérèse Residential School near Sturgeon Landing. Augie spent nine years at the notorious facility from the age of five. The writing process took almost a decade with Augie living on the streets of Prince Albert for much of that time.
Joseph (Augie) Merasty with David Carpenter
David Carpenter stayed the course and worked tirelessly to help Augie tell his story, determined to share with Canadians the horrors of residential schools and hopeful that Augie’s memoir would help clear the path towards healing and reconciliation. Through the donation component of CODE’s Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature, 2500 copies of the book are on their way to schools, libraries, and Friendship Centres across the country.
David Carpenter signs a copy of The Education of Augie Merasty for a First Nations University of Canada student during CODE's Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature Ceremony - Oct 2016.
Mr. Merasty was 87 years old at the time of his death and had struggled for many years from alcoholism, dementia and prostate cancer. His memoir is the subject of One Book One Province, a provincial book club-like program by the Saskatchewan Library Association, launching on March 1st, 2017.