Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s
Spotify & Gimlet Media (Spotify)
Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s opens with a violent and haunting piece of family lore. In the 1970s, Connie Walker’s father, then a member of Royal Canadian Mounted Police, pulled over a suspected drunk driver while on patrol one night. Upon recognizing the driver as the residential school priest who abused him as a child, Walker’s father proceeded to beat the man into a bloody pulp. Decades later, Walker, now a journalist who has built an expansive body of work dedicated to foregrounding injustices against the Indigenous community, revisits the story as a foundation for a much broader investigation. Pulling the frame back from her father’s experience, Walker and her team resurface the obscured past of Canada’s “Indian residential school system,” which had been developed to forcibly assimilate scores of Indigenous children into white Christian society. In effect, it was a policy of cultural genocide. An arresting blend of family history and investigative journalism, the podcast ventures far beyond the findings of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, dissolved in 2015, to pull together a new basis for the historical record. For its tenacious reporting and continued commitment to recognizing the full history of the Indigenous community, Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s wins a Peabody Award.