A beautifully, sparely written novel about a young man and his estranged father, who find themselves on a final walk together. Franklin Starlight, an Ojibway teenager, knows next to nothing about his family, or his past. Along comes (returns) Eldon, his alcoholic absentee father, who takes Franklin on a last “medicine walk” to try and reconnect and finally share Frank’s history.
This was so beautiful. There are no saccharine, overtly emotional scenes. Richard Wagamese writes with careful expertise, and we share so much with these two characters without having too much unneccesary actual dialogue. Nature plays a great and important role, calming and vast, giving the Starlight men a world to disappear into.
This is a story about making mistakes, finding forgiveness, and moving on. There are no pleading excuses from Eldon, no righteous speeches from Frank. The themes of loyalty, family, love, and finding peace within yourself are all here, and explored beautifully. I look forward to reading more of Wagamese’s titles. (Submitted by Veronica)
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Wow, I am so grateful that I am alive now, in a time where buzz words like truth and reconciliation and people suggesting what to read for Aboriginal History Month is occurring. However Aboriginal History Month is in June and this is something to be read now and reread often.
I just finished reading Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection. Volume 2 (after I read Vol. 1 of course) and I just can’t wait to share these amazing Graphic Novels with everyone. These must read works are all about NOW with a never before seen collaboration of top names, Buffy Saint-Marie, Richard Van Camp, Tanya Tagaq, Jeffrey Veregge, Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D, and so many more. One can just skim through and enjoy the art or a quick 2 page story. Or immerse yourself in top notch art and wordsmith, this is fun, this is challenging, you just might learn something and if you are still hungry for more the forward, introduction, afterword and biographies are eloquent and bursting with information and hints on where to find more work from all of these amazing creative minds as well as how to be an alley and support more works like this.(Submitted by Inti)
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If you are looking to learn more about First Nations in BC, check out author Bev Sellars. Her childhood memoir They Called Me Number One about life in a church-run residential school is powerful and easy to read. Continue your learning with Sellars’ second book Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival. Price Paid is a personal view of First Nations history in Canada and helps explain the historic reasons for First Nations issues today. Highly recommended! (Submitted by Kristen).
Missing Nimâmâ by Melanie Florence, winner of the 2016 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, is a lovely picture book for anyone’s collection. However, it is especially relevant for teachers looking for First Nations materials for the new BC Ministry of Education requirements, or for anyone who has read the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and wants to dig deeper into the stories of Canada’s First Nations. It introduces the topic of Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in a format that is accessible to young children.
The story of a young girl growing up is told in the voices of the girl and her missing mother. The lovely, wistful illustrations reflect the emotions of the daughter who is missing her mother, and the mother who can no longer raise her daughter. The sweet and touching relationship between the girl and the grandmother who raises her prevents the story from becoming too overwhelmingly sad. An interesting addition to the text is a Cree glossary of words which are both included in the text and hidden in the illustrations. More information and statistics on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada are included at the end of the book for those who want to go a bit deeper. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning more about Canada’s relationship to its indigenous people. (Submitted by Rebecca).
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