Sam George’s harrowing account of surviving Canada’s Indian Residential School system.
“My name is Sam George. In spite of everything that happened to me, by the grace of the Creator, I have lived to be an Elder.”
Set in the Vancouver area in the late 1940s and through to the present day, this candid account follows Sam from his idyllic childhood growing up on the Eslhá7an (Mission) reserve to the confines of St. Paul’s Indian Residential School and then into a life of addiction and incarceration. But an ember of Sam’s spirit always burned within him, and even in the darkest of places he retained his humor and dignity until he found the strength to face his past.
The Fire Still Burns is an unflinching look at the horrors of a childhood spent trapped within the Indian Residential School system and the long-term effects on survivors. It illustrates the healing power of one’s culture and the resilience that allows an individual to rebuild a life and a future.
About the Author
Sam George is a Squamish Elder and a survivor of the Canadian Indian Residential School system. A retired longshoreman and semi-retired drug and alcohol counselor, Sam now works as an educator with the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and speaks with students and community groups about his experiences.
"For too long, Canadian history erased the story of Canada’s Indian residential schools. Thanks to the efforts of Indigenous peoples and their allies, that shameful silence is being ended. . . . Sam George was a student who survived, although, as his powerful memoir The Fire Still Burns painfully illustrates, not without scars. . . . But he is also able to tell the story of how reconnecting with his Indigenous roots and culture helped him heal and become a loving, contributing elder in his community. He counsels on addiction and hears his grandchildren speaking the language he was beaten for. Cultural genocide has not triumphed." — The Vancouver Sun
"The Fire Still Burns. . . shares [George's] journey of healing and self-love with astonishing candor, and is dedicated to 'all those who didn’t make it.'" — Global News
"I urge everyone who reads this review to buy a copy of The Fire Still Burns, read it, and share it with friends and family." — rabble.ca