Aboriginal author Joseph Auguste “Augie” Merasty, passed away Monday morning in Prince Albert at the age of 87.

He was well known for his book The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir, which covers his boyhood at St. Therese Residential School near Sturgeon Landing from 1935 (when he was just five years old) until 1944.

In it, Merasty documents the horrors of residential school, including the physical and sexual abuse and his struggle with homelessness and alcoholism but also with prostate cancer and dementia.

Merasty rose to prominence in 2015, when at 86 years of age, his first book was published by the University of Regina Press.

For nearly a decade, he sent portions of the book to co-author David Carpenter. The manuscript sat in a drawer until University of Regina Press director Bruce Walsh was alerted to its existence.

The Toronto Star called his book a must read for any Canadian interested in truth and reconciliation.