Don’t just “read the North”, learn from some amazing Indigenous authors. Post 1: Richard Wagamese

Hi all, my blog has been dormant as life has been busy and although I have been reading, I have just been adding brief reviews to my Goodreads account. Today, I need to speak up and share some of the books, written by Indigenous authors, that I have learned from over the past 5 years.  

It is now a time to learn more about the devastating genocide, loss of culture and generational trauma that is a shameful, dreadful part of Canadian history.  Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, I did not learn about Indian Residential schools or Indian Hospitals.  I live along the Grand River, near to Six Nations yet learned nothing about the Mohawk Institute and had no idea of the specific plans to assimilate and eradicate First Nations, Metis and Inuit people.  

When I want to learn, I turn to books so I am choosing to share some beautiful prose that will help readers learn about the dreadful past, racism and abuse but also about resilience, culture, love, relationships and healing.

Stories are a starting point to learning and gaining empathy, they help us to understand and open our minds.  They encourage further learning, am I going to share some of the books that I have read and would recommend, to others, to help understand the tragedy and the generational trauma that continues to reverberate in Canada.

Today’s instalment will highlight the late, Richard Wagamese, who is my favourite author. His stories remain with me and I am sorry that he is an author that I never had a chance to meet. He wove his own history into his fiction with his powerful words and openly shared his own story in his non-fiction books.

Below are links to previous blog posts discussing his books. Learn more by clicking on the titles below:

Medicine Walk

Indian Horse

One Story One Song

Ragged People

One Native Life

Embers

For Joshua

“See the important thing about our stories isn’t so much the listening, it’s the time  you spend thinking about them.  There’s lots of traditional thinking buried deep within each story and the longer you spend thinking about it the more you learn about yourself, your people and the Indian way” (Richard Wagamese in The Keeper’n Me).

What books have you learned from? What stories resonate with you?

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