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The MCU is getting really, really Canadian. These stars are leading the charge




With She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel fresh in our minds, and new Deadpool and Shang-Chi titles on the horizon, there’s one thing undeniably in the MCU’s future: Canada.

With the conclusion of its fourth phase of movies — and plans for both the fifth and sixth in the works — the Marvel Cinematic Universe is quickly becoming more Canadian than it’s ever been. Here, CBC News breaks down some of those projects, and the wealth of Canadian talent you can expect to see influencing the media juggernaut in the future.

Leading women

Canadians Iman Vellani of Ms. Marvel and Tatiana Maslany of She-Hulk appear in this combination image. Both lead new MCU series that were released in 2022. (Marvel Studios)

While Marvel fans are getting to know her as the six-foot-seven-inch, fourth-wall-breaking, lean green legal machine, others up north may know Tatiana Maslany better from her work on Orphan Black. The Regina-born actress’s work on the show saw her win Canadian Screen Awards and become the first Canadian actress in a Canadian drama series to win an Emmy, but she’s now playing Jennifer Walters — a.k.a. She-Hulk — in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

The series is the MCU’s latest Phase 4 production, and, after it concludes in October, will be one of its last. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will close out the studio’s current arc when it premieres in November, with The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special serving as an « epilogue, » according to director James Gunn

Maslany’s turn in the MCU comes just after another Canadian actress’s — Markham, Ont.’s Iman Vellani. Vellani stars as the titular Ms. Marvel in the Disney+ series, becoming the first Muslim superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

WATCH | ‘Hopefully this gets the ball rolling’: Iman Vellani on South Asian representation: 

‘Hopefully this gets the ball rolling’: Iman Vellani on South Asian representation

The Canadian star of the upcoming Ms. Marvel series, Iman Vellani, makes her acting debut as Kamala Khan and explains how it feels to portray the MCU’s first Muslim superhero.

« Film and TV literally shape how we see people in this world. And so, you know, when you’re only representing Muslims in a certain type of light, it gets very one-note, » she said at her Toronto red-carpet debut in June.

« I’m so glad that Marvel’s providing space for a character like Kamala to exist and to just take up space and tell a very specific story about a very specific girl. »

While Ms. Marvel concluded its first — and potentially only — season in mid-July, Vellani is already set to return in 2023’s film The Marvels. There, Vellani’s character Kamala Khan will team up with Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel.

Leading men

A combination image is shown. On the left is a man wearing red and black leather combat gear and a cowl. He is holding two handguns and has two swords strapped to his back. On the right is a man in futuristic red and black clothing. He has a small cut on his cheek, is standing in a defensive position and holding a bo-staff in one hand.
Ryan Reynolds, right, appears in a scene from Deadpool, while Simu Liu appears in a scene from Shang-Chi. Both are expected to star in another instalment of their film franchises. (20th Century Studios, Marvel Studios)

Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi was a first in more than one way. The Kim’s Convenience alumni became the first Canadian actor to headline an MCU production (technically — more on that later) back in 2021.

Then, Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings was the first film premiering during the pandemic to make over $200 million US at the domestic box office, helping to cement the fact studios could release their movies in theatres instead of continuing to delay them

It was also the first Marvel movie to rest on the shoulders of a new superhero since Captain Marvel in 2019. After Avengers: Endgame saw the departure of Iron Man, Captain America and Black Widow, Shang-Chi‘s success proved that audiences were willing to stick with the MCU brand despite an inevitable shakeup in its cast.

Marvel confirmed a sequel is in the works soon after the film’s release, though there isn’t a premiere date yet. As an added bonus, the Shang-Chi comic books have been drawn by Toronto’s Marcus To since February of this year

But before Liu, Vancouver’s Ryan Reynolds was helping to make the world of Marvel more Canadian. Reynolds played Deadpool in a number of movies, though due to rights issues with 20th Century Fox he was never technically part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But since the Walt Disney Company completed its purchase of Fox in 2019, that’s all set to change.

Back in January, Marvel head Kevin Feige confirmed the studio is working on a Deadpool 3 script with Reynolds, which will be rated R and finally introduce the « merc with a mouth » into the MCU.

Sidekicks, team members, dynamic duos

A combination image is shown. On the left, a woman with short blonde hair wearing a blazer smiles while holding a microphone. In the middle a woman points her phone at the camera and holds her a microphone above her head in a wave. On the right a woman in a white dress beams while holding a microphone to her mouth. All three are on a stage in front of a background that reads "San Diego Comic Con."
From left, Pom Klementieff, Evangeline Lilly and Cobie Smulders appear at presentations at the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con. Each were there to share information about their upcoming Marvel movies. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images, Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

Outside of the universe’s eponymously named titles, a number of Canadians will support the MCU in future titles. B.C.’s Cobie Smulders is set to reprise her role as Maria Hill, supporting Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in Secret Invasion. That series, set to debut on Disney+ in spring 2023, looks at an invasion of Earth by aliens. In an interview with EW, Smulders said the series will « really dive into the characters more » and « explore their relationships with each other. »


Pom Klementieff, though sometimes brought up as a Canadian actor, is a bit of a technicality. The actress, who plays Mantis in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, was born in Quebec City, though under a diplomatic passport. Because of that, she is a citizen of France — not Canada. She will reprise the role of Mantis in both the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special in December and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 in May 2023.

And Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will see Alberta-born, B.C.-raised Evangeline Lilly return to her role of the Wasp in early 2023. As far as actors go, Lilly has one of the most long-running track records for Canadians — she has appeared in four mainstream Marvel productions as Hope Van Dyne already, with at least one more credit still to come.

A trailblazing series

A combination image is shown. From left, a young woman wearing a black jacket looks at the camera. An older man wearing dark aviator sunglasses looks at the camera. A young bearded man wearing a t shirt stands in front of a field. An older woman smiles at the camera.
From left, Devery Jacobs, Graham Greene, Cody Lightning and Tantoo Cardinal are shown. All four will be in the new Marvel series Echo. (Walt Disney Studios)

The upcoming Marvel series Echo will do more to add Canadian talent than any other production in the past. While the Disney+ show stars Wisconsin’s Alaqua Cox — playing the titular role introduced in the Hawkeye series — she has a solid cast of Canadians supporting her.

Reservation Dogs‘s Devery Jacobs, born in Kahnawake Mohawk First Nation in Quebec, will play one of the leads, Julie. Alongside Jacobs, Oscar nominee Graham Greene from Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Edmonton’s Cody Lightning and member of the Order of Canada Tantoo Cardinal are also set to star. 

The show is scheduled to premiere in summer 2023.

Lesser known

A combination image is shown. On the left, a CGI image of a gelatinous alien is shown.  It has taken on the shape of Marvel character Groot. In the middle, a man wearing a suit holds a red, white and blue shield with a star emblazoned in the centre. On the right, A hooded and masked man wearing all white stands illuminated in floodlights.
Images from I Am Groot, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Moon Knight are shown here. Edmonton actor Trevor Devall voiced the character Iwua in I Am Groot, while Canadian filmmaker Kari Skogland directed The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Montreal’s Gregory Middleton was director of cinematography on Moon Knight. (Marvel Studios)

The bigger names aside, there are other Canadians helping to make Marvel work — some behind the scenes. 

In the animated I Am Groot series of shorts, fans are treated to stand-alone adventures with their favourite baby seedling: Groot. In one of those episodes, Groot encounters a mysterious, shapeshifting alien who both takes his form, and busts a move. 

That alien is voiced by Edmonton voice-actor Trevor Devall. Devall is far from new to the world of Marvel — he’s had turns in M.O.D.O.K., a Spider-Man TV series, Marvel Future Avengers as Loki, and even the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series as Rocket Raccoon — but this is his first time in the official MCU canon. 

WATCH | Canadian director on creating a hero for tomorrow: 

Canadian director on creating a hero for tomorrow

Speaking with CBC’s Eli Glasner, Kari Skogland, director of Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, talks about using conversations around race and tolerance to define what a hero is in today’s world.

Canadian filmmaker Kari Skogland also entered the MCU for the first time recently as director of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. In an interview with CBC, Skogland said she wanted to take on that series — which showed Black actor Anthony Mackie taking up the mantle of Captain America — to « put into this racially motivated and racially charged conversation some very thoughtful notions for people to come away with and chew on. »

And finally, no stranger to superhero or supernatural genres, Montreal-raised, Vancouver-educated Gregory Middleton took on the job of cinematography for the Oscar Isaac-led miniseries Moon Knight. Middleton — who worked on episodes of Game of Thrones, Watchmen and Arrow — told industry news site Below the Line he closely studied related Marvel comics to get the show’s distinctive, and disjointed, look. 

Behind the comics

A combination image is shown, all are drawings. On the left is a comic cover with the words 'Moon Knight' across the top. Below, a hooded and masked man scowls while standing behind a movie clapper. In the centre four people in blue spandex look toward the viewer. One has elastic arms, another is semi-translucent, another holds a fireball in his hand and the last is heavily muscled and covered in scales. In the final image a heavily muscled woman with grey skin crushes a concrete block, which is shaped into the word "Hulk."
Images from Jeff Lemire’s Moon Knight, The Fantastic Four and Mariko Tamaki’s run of She-Hulk (simply titled ‘Hulk’) are shown here. (Marvel Studios)

Outside of the studio’s main continuity, there are a number of Canadians behind the comics the MCU draws from. Essex County and Sweet Tooth writer Jeff Lemire was also behind a Moon Knight comics run that the series borrows from. 

And looking forward, Toronto’s Mariko Tamaki wrote one of the most popular — and divisive — She-Hulk books out there. That run introduced « grey » She-Hulk: a version of the character that includes callbacks to both the original iteration of the comics Hulk (who was originally grey, but later changed to green due to a printing issue) and a later, more vicious version of the character.

Tamaki’s grey version of She-Hulk also saw the character change dramatically — motivated by fear and trauma instead of rage. While that storyline hasn’t popped up yet, it could be a well for source material in the future

And finally, Dinosaur Comics, Jughead and The Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl writer Ryan North was recently announced as the new writer for the Fantastic Four comic series.

The Eisner-winning writer, who famously had lighthearted character the Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl beat up some of Marvel’s greatest villains, said the Fantastic Four series will be a series of « smaller, self-contained stories. » Even still, North’s comics could serve as story fodder for the upcoming Fantastic Four movie, which will kick off the MCU’s Phase 6 and has become one of the most anticipated series in the entirety of the MCU.


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Oakville, Ont. le cinéma « ne cédera pas » au milieu des menaces concernant un nouveau film en langue tamoule





Une salle de cinéma à Oakville, en Ontario. dont les écrans ont été coupés plus tôt cette année dit avoir reçu de nouvelles menaces avant la sortie d’un film en langue tamoule.

Dans une déclaration vidéo publiée sur Twitter, le PDG de Film.Ca Cinemas, Jeff Knoll, a déclaré que le théâtre et sa famille avaient reçu des menaces « d’un élément criminel » qui ne voulait pas du film. Ponnyan Selvan montré.

« Nous ne céderons pas aux criminels qui veulent nous dire comment faire nos affaires, quels films nous exposons ou dans quelle langue ils sont exposés », a déclaré Knoll.

« Vous ne nous intimiderez pas et vous ne gagnerez pas. Nous sommes aux côtés de nos amis et voisins tamouls ainsi que de tous ceux qui veulent profiter des films en anglais, en tamoul ou dans toute autre langue. »

Knoll dit que le théâtre travaille en étroite collaboration avec le service de police régional de Halton. Il y aura également une présence policière au théâtre tout au long de cette semaine et pendant le week-end pour assurer la sécurité.

Knoll dit également qu’il soupçonne que ceux qui sont à l’origine des menaces sont liés aux personnes qui ont coupé les écrans du théâtre en février, causant des dommages d’environ 4 500 $. Deux personnes ont ensuite été arrêtées en lien avec l’incident.

Le théâtre d’Oakville n’était pas le seul visé à l’époque. Un cinéma de Burlington et un autre à Waterloo ont également vu plusieurs de leurs écrans coupés, les enquêteurs affirmant que les mêmes suspects étaient impliqués dans les trois affaires.

Selon les enquêteurs, les salles ont été visées car elles diffusaient le film Bheemla Nayak.

Knoll dit que la police « enquête activement ».

La police de Halton a déclaré dans un e-mail à CBC News qu’elle ne pouvait pas « établir concrètement de motif pour le moment », mais qu’elle contactait des agences partenaires pour partager des renseignements et discuter de toute enquête.

Toute personne ayant des informations est priée de contacter la police au 905-925-4777 ext. 2216 ou envoyez un signalement anonyme à Échec au crime en appelant le 1-800-222-8477.

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Comment le biopic fictif Blonde transforme Marilyn Monroe en un symbole de la tragédie des célébrités





Cela fait 60 ans que Marilyn Monroe est décédée à l’âge de 36 ans, et Hollywood continue d’immortaliser l’acteur – pour le meilleur ou pour le pire – en tant que symbole de la tragédie des célébrités et de la création de mythes.

Blondun film Netflix sur Monroe réalisé par Andrew Dominik et basé sur un roman de 2000 de Joyce Carol Oates, propose un récit fictif des indignités qui ont ponctué la vie de Monroe avant sa mort.

Alors que certaines critiques ont fait l’éloge Blond en tant que réinvention féministe de la vie de Marilyn Monroe – y compris Oates elle-même – d’autres disent qu’elle perpétue les mêmes attitudes d’exploitation qu’elle est censée critiquer, en dépeignant la vie de Monroe comme un spectacle de misère implacable.

Alors que le film commençait à être diffusé sur Netflix mercredi, CBC News s’est entretenu avec des universitaires et des experts du cinéma pour comprendre où commence et se termine le mythe de Marilyn Monroe.

Le dernier d’une tendance des films d’exploitation de célébrités

Même avant sa sortie dans certaines salles la semaine dernière, Blond – qui met en vedette Ana de Armas – faisait la une des journaux pour avoir obtenu une cote NC-17, après quoi le réalisateur Andrew Dominik a promis que cela « offenserait tout le monde ».

De Armas, à gauche, et le réalisateur Andrew Dominik assistent samedi à la première de Blonde au Festival international du film de San Sebastian. Dominik a promis que le film « offenserait tout le monde ». (Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images pour Netflix)

C’est parce que cela transforme Monroe en un archétype de la victimisation féminine, choisissant de recréer – et d’imaginer – les pires moments de sa vie, plutôt que d’explorer son intériorité ou son métier d’acteur.

Nous voyons des avortements ordonnés par un studio de cinéma, des violences domestiques et sexuelles, des toxicomanies et des humiliations professionnelles – sans parler de l’absence de son père et de l’institutionnalisation de sa mère.

Il y a tragédie mais pas de triomphe. Les amitiés de Monroe avec des femmes, y compris sa collègue actrice et enseignante Susan Strasburg, ne sont pas à l’écran; vous ne sauriez jamais de ce film qu’elle a fondé sa propre société de production dans les années 1950 à la poursuite de rôles plus forts; et elle est décrite comme étant constamment tourmentée par son père absent, à tel point que toutes ses relations amoureuses deviennent des espaces réservés pour lui.

Dans un entretien avec revue de cinéma Vue et sonDominik a déclaré qu’il était plus intéressé par les images prises de Monroe et ce qu’elles représentaient plutôt que par sa vraie vie ou son travail.

« Nous essayions toujours de la faire ressembler à des images spécifiques de Marilyn … Je ne suis pas intéressé par la réalité, je suis intéressé par les images », a déclaré Dominik. « J’ai donc sélectionné toutes les images de Marilyn que j’ai pu trouver, puis j’ai essayé de mettre en scène des scènes autour de ces images. »

Dans le film, Dominik a déclaré qu’il visait à mettre en scène des scènes autour d’images emblématiques de Monroe, notamment debout au-dessus d’une grille de métro dans une robe blanche gonflée dans The Seven Year Itch. (Netflix)

Beaucoup de ces images sont indélébiles : Monroe debout au-dessus d’une grille de métro, sa robe blanche flottant autour d’elle, pendant le tournage La démangeaison de sept ans; ou chanter Les diamants sont les meilleurs amis d’une fille dans une robe rose vif dans une scène emblématique de Les hommes préfèrent les blondes.

Même des images que le public n’a jamais vues, mais qu’il peut facilement évoquer, sont présentes dans le film de Dominik : la scène finale de Blond montre à quoi Monroe a été décrite comme ayant ressemblé lorsqu’elle a été retrouvée morte, allongée nue dans son lit, une main tenant un téléphone.

Pourtant, comme l’a écrit un critique dans Pierre roulante« Blond essaie de nier qui [Monroe] était pour nous dire qui elle était, la punir pour nous punir. » Dominik, qui a déclaré à l’Associated Press que les gens « aiment être offensés » (n’est-ce pas ce qu’il voulait ?) a déclaré que le film n’était pas abusif.

« La relation principale dans le film est entre le spectateur et elle », a-t-il déclaré. « Je n’ai jamais fait un film qui m’en dit plus sur le spectateur que celui-ci. »

Plusieurs films récents ont réinventé la vie et les luttes des icônes de la culture pop à travers une lentille expérimentale, brouillant parfois les frontières entre réalité et fiction pour ce faire.

Le biopic psychédélique de la princesse Diana de Pablo Lorrain, Spencer, dépeint une semaine tumultueuse dans la vie de la royale avant son divorce avec le prince Charles de l’époque. de Baz Luhrrmann Elvis était un examen fiévreux de la relation troublée du roi avec son directeur abusif, le colonel Tom Parker.


Comme ces personnages, Monroe s’est attaquée au gouffre entre son personnage célèbre et sa vie privée. Dans l’une de ses dernières interviews, elle a déclaré : « C’est bien d’être incluse dans les fantasmes des gens, mais vous aimez aussi être acceptée pour votre propre bien. Je ne me considère pas comme une marchandise, mais je suis sûre que beaucoup de les gens ont. »

Une autre image emblématique recréée dans Blonde du film Monroe de 1953 Les hommes préfèrent les blondes. (Netflix)

« Elle est juste cette image qui peut être réduite »

Samita Nandy, directrice du Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies basé en Ontario, affirme que l’idée que Monroe a été victime de sa propre renommée est très répandue – des biographes aux historiens du cinéma en passant par les journalistes de tabloïd.

« C’est le mythe dominant, mis à part le mythe selon lequel elle est une déesse du sexe. Donc, le fait qu’elle soit victime de sa propre renommée doit être remis en question. »

Le mythe de Marilyn Monroe a radicalement changé au cours des années depuis sa mort, selon Amanda Konkle, l’auteur de Une sorte de miroir : créer Marilyn Monroe et professeur agrégé à la Georgia Southern University.

« Il a les mêmes éléments, mais l’attitude à son égard a changé depuis qu’elle était une personne vivante et respirante qui se promenait dans le monde jusqu’à maintenant, où elle est juste cette image qui peut être réduite au sensationnel », a déclaré Konkle.

Monroe lors d’une conférence de presse au Savoy Hotel, Londres, en 1956. Sur la gauche se trouve sa co-star Laurence Olivier dans Le Prince et la Showgirl, produit par sa société de production éponyme. (Harry Kerr/BIPS/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

« Je pense qu’elle a eu cette opportunité et cette capacité au cours de sa vie de transformer beaucoup de choses qui seraient scandaleuses en soutien pour elle, en acceptation, en sympathie pour elle d’une manière qu’elle n’a pas la capacité de faire maintenant , » elle a ajouté.

Monroe a essayé de se débarrasser de l’image qu’elle avait développée au cours de ses premières années d’actrice – en tant que blonde stupide, pot de sexe, bombe dans des films comme Certains l’aiment chaud et Les hommes préfèrent les blondes – et gagner le respect de ses talents d’actrice, comme dans Le Prince et la Showgirl et Les inadaptéscette dernière une collaboration avec son ex-mari, le dramaturge Arthur Miller.

Elle a commencé à travailler avec Lee Strasberg, le coach par intérim qui a développé The Method, une forme de jeu notoirement intense qui encourage les interprètes à puiser dans leurs propres expériences et souvenirs pour évoquer une émotion plus forte pendant qu’ils sont dans le personnage.

Le drame personnel faisait « également partie du personnage vedette de Monroe dans les années 1950 », a ajouté Konkle. « De nombreux articles de magazines parlaient de tentatives de suicide précoces, de fausses couches ou de sa relation difficile avec sa mère.

« Monroe elle-même était évidemment consciente de la douleur et de la tragédie de sa vie, mais essayait aussi toujours d’aller au-delà pour la surmonter. »

Monroe a lancé sa propre société de production indépendante, Marilyn Monroe Productions, au milieu des années 1950. Elle n’a fait qu’un seul film avec cette compagnie,Le Prince et la Showgirl avec Laurence Olivier. Le tournage du projet est représenté dans le film de 2011 Ma semaine avec Marilynqui raconte une version fantastique de l’histoire du point de vue d’un assistant de production masculin.

Dans cette photo d’archive du 9 septembre 1954, Marilyn Monroe pose au-dessus du courant ascendant d’une grille de métro de New York pendant le tournage de The Seven Year Itch à New York. (Matty Zimmerman/Associated Press)

« Il y a tous ces films que les gens font sur la façon dont elle a été maltraitée et manipulée, etc., et nous sommes capables, d’une distance historique, de voir la misogynie de l’industrie clairement écrite d’une manière qui n’était pas visible dans les années 50 et années 60 », a déclaré Catherine Russell, professeure d’études cinématographiques à l’Université Concordia à Montréal.

« Les gens étaient au milieu de ça; ils l’ont pris pour acquis. »

Bien qu’elle n’ait pas vu le film au moment de cette interview, Konkle a déclaré que Blond pourrait offrir une « mentalité de télé-réalité sensationnelle, extrême et rugueuse » qui pousse les gens vers les biographies de Monroe plutôt que vers ses films.

« Une partie de la difficulté pour elle au cours de sa vie, et certainement en tant qu’icône culturelle maintenant, est que cette image est devenue tellement associée à elle – cette image de tragédie et de douleur et l’image de la blonde stupide – que peu importe à quel point elle a essayé , elle n’a jamais été capable de rompre complètement avec ça »


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48 books by Indigenous writers to read to understand residential schools





David A. Robertson, a Swampy Cree author based in Winnipeg, writes books for readers of all ages. He has published several books across a variety of genres, including the graphic novels Will I See? and Sugar Falls, a Governor General’s Literary Award-winning picture book called When We Were Alone, which was illustrated by Julie Flett.

His most recent books are the novel The Theory of Crows, the YA series The Misewa Saga, the picture book On the Trapline and the memoir Black Water. He also hosted the CBC Manitoba podcast Kiwew.

On Sept. 30, Canada will mark its second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a time to commemorate children who died while being forced to attend residential schools, those who survived and made it home, their families and communities still affected by the lasting trauma. 

In 2021, Robertson curated this list of books by Indigenous writers about residential schools. He originally posted the list on Twitter, and repurposed it for CBC Books. 

Why David A. Robertson curated this list

My grandmother, Sarah Robertson, attended Norway House Indian Residential School in the 1920s and early 1930s. She died having never told her story, other than to remark to one of her granddaughters how sad it had made her when they cut her hair. And to tell my mother that her sister had died while attending Towers Island Day School, but she’d not found out until long after Maggie’s death.

Her experience is lost history, a story that will remain forever untold. At Norway House Indian Residential School, officials fed children rotten food. Girls slept outside on balconies because enrolment was always overcapacity. Kids were tied up so that they wouldn’t run away. In 1907, a boy, Charles Cline, ran away after getting beaten for wetting his bed. He lost six toes after seeking protection from the elements in a shed. And how were school officials held accountable? Charles’s mom was given a bag of flour every month for the rest of the school year.

Stories have been, and always will be, the best way to educate ourselves about the truth.

My grandmother may have experienced similar trauma or may have avoided it by some miracle, but we’ll never know.

Last week, the bodies of 215 children, some as young as three, were found buried at Kamloops Indian Residential School. Indigenous people knew a discovery like this was an eventuality as much as we know that it’s a tragedy that will be repeated. The Truth & Reconciliation Commission confirmed 3,200 deaths as part of its investigation, but Senator Murray Sinclair believes there could be closer to 25,000. If at least 150,000 Indigenous children attended residential schools in its 165-year history, that means 17 per cent of the children died while attending residential school. Some schools’ mortality rates were 40 per cent.

It can no longer be disputed that the residential school system was genocide, and the question now is: What are you going to do about it? Because outrage, thoughts and prayers, retweets and likes, are not enough.

I think the answer starts with stories. Stories have been, and always will be, the best way to educate ourselves about the truth. You have to recognize that you have the power to be the authors of reconciliation if you read as much as you can, listen as much as you can, learn as much as you can, and then take meaningful, informed action.

I don’t know your role, but I know that youth are inherently better positioned than anybody to create the sort of change we need to see, and so we need to focus on them. Stories reveal the world to kids — the world that was, the world that is and the world that can be. What kind of future do you want to have?

Here are some books by Indigenous authors to get you started on your learning journey. Please keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. There are more stories out there.

Indian Horse was defended by Carol Huynh on Canada Reads 2013. (Douglas & McIntyre)

Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese tells the story of Saul Indian Horse, a young Ojibway boy who is ripped from his family and forcibly placed in residential school. Saul, a gifted hockey player, is both victim and witness to the dehumanizing abuse of students at the school. As an adult, Saul becomes dependent on alcohol to cope with the trauma of his childhood. 

Indian Horse was defended on Canada Reads 2013 by Carol Huynh.

Wagamese was an Ojibway writer from the Wabaseemoong First Nation in Ontario. He is the author of six novels, one collection of poetry and three memoirs. Two of his books, Indian Horse and One Story, One Song, appear on this list. He died in 2017.

18:19Richard Wagamese on the Next Chapter

Author Richard Wagamese speaks to The Next Chapter host Shelagh Rogers about his novel Indian Horse.

The Orange Shirt Story & Phyllis’s Orange Shirt are picture books written by Phyllis Webstad, illustrated by Brock Nicol (Medicine Wheel Education, Angie Mindus)

Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 30 is an annual opportunity for people of all ages to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors and their families by wearing orange. The event is inspired by residential school survivor Phyllis Webstad’s experience of being stripped of a brand new orange shirt on her first day attending residential school when she was just six years old. Webstad’s book, The Orange Shirt Story, shares what it meant for the writer to be deprived of her beloved clothing — and her sense of identity — at such a young age. 

The Orange Shirt Story is for readers aged 7-10.

Phyllis’s Orange Shirt is an adaptation of The Orange Shirt Story for readers aged 4-6. 

Webstad is Northern Secwepemc from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation. She has inspired thousands of people to honour residential school survivors and their families. Two of her books, The Orange Shirt Story and Phyllis’s Orange Shirt, are on this list.

Brock Nicol is an illustrator from Ottawa.

The Next Chapter4:12Phyllis Webstad on inspiring Orange Shirt Day

Phyllis Webstad is the founder of Orange Shirt Day, a day that honours Indigenous children who endured the horrors of residential schools. Her picture book, Phyllis’s Orange Shirt, tells the story of her first day at residential school.

Shi-shi-etko is a children’s book written by Nicola I. Campbell and illustrated by Kim LaFave. ( Books)

Shi-shi-etko is the story of Shi-shi-etko, a young girl who has only a few days before she is sent off to a residential school. In the time she has left, she soaks in the natural wonders of the world around her, from the tall grass to the tadpoles in the creek. Before she leaves, the child learns valuable lessons and wisdom needed in the trying times ahead. 

Nicola I. Campbell is an author of Nłeʔkepmx, Syilx and Métis descent, from British Columbia. Her stories weave cultural and land-based teachings that focus on respect, endurance, healing and reciprocity.

Kim LaFave is a painter and illustrator living in Roberts Creek, B.C.

Campbell and LaFave co-created Shi-shi-etko and its sequel Shin-chi’s Canoe.

Shin-chi’s Canoe is a picture book by Nicola I. Campbell, illustrated by Kim LaFave. (Groundwood Books)

Shin-chi’s Canoe is the sequel to Campbell’s Shi-shi-etko. It tells the story of six-year-old Shin-chi as he heads to residential school for the first time with his older sister, Shi-shi-etko. As the children are driven away in the back of a cattle truck, Shin-chi’s sister tells him all the things they must remember about home. Shin-chi knows it will be a long time before he sees his family, not until the sockeye salmon return. Shin-chi endures a long year of hard work, hunger and loneliness before returning home to his family with his sister.

Shin-chi’s Canoe won the 2009 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and the 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award for illustration.

Campbell and LaFave co-created Shi-shi-etko and its sequel Shin-chi’s Canoe.

My Name is Seepeetza is a book by Shirley Sterling. (Groundwood Books/CBC)

Written in the form of a diary, My Name is Seepeetza recounts the story of a young girl taken from home to attend the Kamloops Indian Residential School in the 1950s. My Name is Seepeetza has been described as an honest, inside look at the residential school experience — one that highlights the resilience of a child in a place governed by strict nuns, and arbitrary rules.

My Name is Seepeetza won the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Awards for young people’s literature text — in 1993.

Shirley Sterling was a member of the Interior Salish Nation of British Columbia. Her Nlaka’pamux name is Seepeetza.

Tanya Talaga highlights the lives of seven Indigenous students in Seven Fallen Feathers. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star/House of Anansi)

In Seven Fallen Feathers, investigative journalist Tanya Talaga travels to Thunder Bay, Ont., to investigate the deaths of seven Indigenous teenagers: Jordan Wabasse, Kyle Morrisseau, Curran Strang, Robyn Harper, Paul Panacheese, Reggie Bushie and Jethro Anderson. Talaga looks at how their lives and untimely deaths can teach us about the injustice faced by Indigenous communities on a daily basis.

Seven Fallen Feathers won the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize for nonfiction.

Talaga is an investigative journalist. In 2017, she was named the Atkinson Fellow for public policy. The work produced during this period forms the basis of Talaga’s 2018 CBC Massey Lectures, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.

The Next Chapter14:36Tanya Talaga on « Seven Fallen Feathers »

Investigative reporter Tanya Talaga, on her book about 7 students who left their homes to attend high school in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and ended up dead under mysterious circumstances.

Dear Canada, These Are My Words: The Residential School Diary of Violet Pesheens is a book by Ruby Slipperjack. (Writer’s Trust Canada, Scholastic Canada)

Ruby Slipperjack’s children’s book, Dear Canada: These Are My Words, is the diary of a 12-year-old girl named Violet Pesheens, who is a student at a residential school. Slipperjack drew on her own experiences attending Shingwauk Residential School in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Slipperjack is a member of the Eabametoong First Nation. She has written seven novels for middle grade and teen readers. She lives in Thunder Bay, Ont., and recently retired as a professor in the Indigenous Learning Department at Lakehead University. She won the 2017 Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People.

Beatrice Mosionier is a Métis author born in St. Boniface, Man. (Madison Thomas/CBC/HighWater Press)

In Search of April Raintree is about two young sisters who are taken from their home and family. Powerless to change their fortunes, they are separated and each put into different foster homes. Yet over the years, the bond between them grows. As they each make their way in the society, one embraces her Métis identity, while the other tries to leave it behind. In the end, out of tragedy, comes an unexpected legacy of triumph and reclamation. First published in 1983, In Search of April Raintree has become a Canadian classic.

Beatrice Mosionier was born in St. Boniface, Man. She decided to write In Search of April Raintree following the death of two sisters to suicide.

Unreserved14:49#IndigenousReads: Beatrice Mosionier talks about her novel In Search of April Raintree

First published in 1983, it has been loved and read by generations of Canadians. It is based on author Beatrice Mosionier’s life, who is Metis. She survived foster care, abuse and the loss of her two sisters to suicide. Book two in #IndigenousReads.

The Train is a book by Jodie Callaghan (left), illustrated by Georgia Lesley. (Second Story Press,

In this book, a girl named Ashley meets her great-uncle by the old train tracks near their Nova Scotia community. The Train is a story of the legacy of residential schools in Canada as her uncle explains his experience and loss of identity. The book is a story of remembrance, hope and reconciliation.

The Train was a finalist for the 2021 Silver Birch Express Award.

Jodie Callaghan is a Mi’gmaw author and storyteller from the Listuguj First Nation in Gespegewa’gi near Quebec.

Georgia Lesley is an artist and illustrator based in British Columbia’s Cariboo region.

Fatty Legs is a children’s book and memoir written by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton. (Annick Press)

Fatty Legs: A True Story is a picture book inspired by the true story of Margaret-Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton’s experience at residential school. As a young girl living in the High Arctic, Margaret was determined to learn to read even though it meant leaving her home and everything she knew behind. Despite her father’s warning about the horrors of residential schools, Margaret makes the long journey south where she encounters the Raven — a hook-nosed nun who immediately dislikes Margaret. In a show of cruelty, the Raven gives Margaret red stockings instead of the grey ones the other girls receive, making her the laughingstock of the school. Margaret gets rid of the stockings and must teach the Raven a lesson about human dignity.

Margaret-Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton was a Inuvialuit knowledge keeper and residential school survivor. She was the co-author of several books, including Fatty Legs: A True StoryA Stranger At HomeWhen I Was Eight and Not My Girl. She died in 2021.

Christy Jordan-Fenton is Pokiak-Fenton’s daughter-in-law and co-author. She now lives in Fort St. John, B.C. 

Gabrielle Grimard has illustrated over 30 picture books, including When I Was EightNot My Girl and Stolen Words. She lives in Quebec.

The Next Chapter15:01Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and Christy Jordan-Fenton on Fatty Legs

Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and Christy Jordan-Fenton celebrate the 10th anniversary of their children’s book Fatty Legs, which tells a story from Pokiak-Fenton’s time in residential school.

Jenny Kay Dupuis’s I Am Not a Number tackles the history of Residential schools and is based on her grandmother’s experiences. (Dan Robb, Second Story Press)

I Am Not a Number follows the story of eight-year-old Irene as she gets removed from her First Nations family to live in a residential school — confused, frightened and terribly homesick. When she goes home for summer holidays, Irene’s parents decide never to send her and her brothers away again. Based on the life of co-author Jenny Kay Dupuis’ grandmother, the book brings a terrible part of Canada’s history to light in a way that educates the children.

Dupuis is of Anishinaabe Ojibway ancestry and a proud member of Nipissing First Nation. She is an educator, researcher, artist and speaker who works full-time supporting the advancement of Indigenous education. She lives in Toronto.

Kathy Kacer is well known for her children’s books about the Holocaust. Her books have won awards including the Silver Birch, the Red Maple, the Hackmatack and the Jewish Book Award. Kacer is a former psychologist and lives in Toronto.

Gillian Newland is an artist who lives in Halifax. She has illustrated the books I Am Not a Number, The Magician of Auschwitz and A Boy Asked The Wind.

Metro Morning8:03Children’s book documents a grandmother’s struggle in residential schools

Today, kids across this country wear orange to remember the children who were forced into residential schools. One of them is remembered in a book written by her granddaughter. Matt Galloway spoke with Jenny Kay Dupuis, author of « I Am Not A Number. »

In When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Flett, a young girl listens to her grandmother’s stories about attending residential school. (TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award)

In When We Were Alone, a girl asks her grandmother about why she wears her hair in a long braid and why she speaks in another language. Her grandmother responds by describing her childhood, growing up in a residential school.

When We Were Alone won the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award for young people’s literature — illustrated books. 

David A. Robertson is an author and graphic novelist based in Winnipeg. He has written several books in many genres, including the graphic novels Will I See? and Sugar Falls, the picture book When We Were Alone, the YA  series The Reckoner and the memoir Black Water.

Julie Flett has illustrated several picture books including Little YouMy Heart Fills with Happiness and We Sang You Home. Her picture book Birdsong was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.

7:52David A. Robertson visits with students in Laval

The author of When We Were Alone meets with young readers to talk about Canada’s residential school history.

A Stranger At Home is a picture book by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret-Olemaun Pokiak-Fenton, illustrated by Liz Amini-Holmes. (Annick Press)

In this sequel to Fatty Legs, Margaret Pokiak is now 10 years old and can hardly wait to return home from residential school. But her homecoming is not what she hopes for. « Not my girl, » is what her mother says when she arrives. The story follows Margaret as she moves through feelings of rejection and tries to reconnect with her family, language and culture.

Pokiak-Fenton, Jordan-Fenton and Grimard have worked on several books together, including Fatty Legs: A True StoryA Stranger At HomeWhen I Was Eight and Not My Girl. Many of these titles can be found on this list.

Porcupines and China Dolls is a book by Robert Arthur Alexie. (Philippe Morin/CBC, Theytus Books)

Porcupines and China Dolls is about two men, James and Jake, confronting their childhood abuse and breaking the silence to begin a journey of healing and rediscovery. Enough alcohol silences the demons for a night; a gun and a single bullet silences demons forever. When a friend dies by suicide and a former priest appears on television, the community is shattered.

Robert Arthur Alexie was born and raised in Fort McPherson in Canada’s Northwest Territories. He became the chief of the Tetlit Gwich’in of Fort McPherson, served two terms as vice-president of the Gwich’in Tribal Council, and was instrumental in obtaining a land claim agreement for the Gwich’in of the Northwest Territories. He died in 2014.

Cherie Dimaline is the author of The Marrow Thieves. (Peter Power/CBC, Dancing Cat Books)

​In the dystopian world of Cherie Dimaline’s award-winning The Marrow Thieves, climate change has ravaged the Earth and a continent-wide hunt and slaughter of Indigenous people is underway. Wanted for their bone marrow, which contains the lost ability to dream, a group of Indigenous people seek refuge in the old lands. 

The Marrow Thieves won the Governor General’s Literary Award for children’s text in 2017 and was defended by Jully Black on Canada Reads 2018.

Cherie Dimaline is a Métis author and editor. Her other books include Red RoomsThe Girl Who Grew a Galaxy, A Gentle Habit and Empire of Wild.

The Next Chapter10:07Cherie Dimaline on « The Marrow Thieves »

Cherie Dimaline on her Canad Reads contender « The Marrow Thieves. » (Originally aired Oct 2, 2017)

When I Was Eight is a picture book by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard. (Annick Press)

In When I Was Eight, Olemaun is eight and knows a lot of things. But she doesn’t know how to read. Ignoring her father’s warnings, she travels far from her Arctic home to the outsiders’ school to learn. Based on the true story of co-author Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, the book makes the bestselling Fatty Legs accessible to younger readers, reminding us what power we hold when we can read.

Pokiak-Fenton, Jordan-Fenton and Grimard have worked on several books together, including Fatty Legs: A True StoryA Stranger At HomeWhen I Was Eight and Not My Girl. Many of these titles can be found on this list.

Stolen Words is a picture book by Melanie Florence, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard. (Second Story Press)

Stolen Words tells the story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in his language – Cree – he admits that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This picture book explores the intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young Indigenous children from their families.

Melanie Florence is a writer of Cree and Scottish heritage based in Toronto. She is also the author of Missing Nimama, which won the 2016 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and the 2017 Forest of Reading Golden Oak Award.

Gabrielle Grimard has illustrated over 30 picture books, including When I Was Eight and Not My Girl. She lives in Quebec.

Metro Morning6:46Residential Schools Book

Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its final report, and one of the recommendations is to make an age-appropriate curriculum on residential schools, and aboriginal contributions and history. Guest host Gill Deacon spoke with Melanie Florence.

The Journey Forward collects two novellas by Richard Van Camp and Monique Gray Smith. (, Centric Photography)

When We Play Our Drums, They Sing! by Richard Van Camp and Lucy & Lola by Monique Gray Smith are two novellas about reconciliation, healing and a way forward in one beautifully packaged flip book. Van Camp and Gray Smith each take a side of the column and present different young Indigenous characters as they navigate a world made uneasy by colonialism and fracture.

Van Camp writes comics, picture books and novels, most recently publishing the short story collection Moccasin Square Gardens. He is a member of the Dogrib Nation from Fort Smith, N.W.T.

Gray Smith is a writer of Cree, Lakota and Scottish heritage who currently lives in Victoria. She is also the author of the novels Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience and Tilly and the Crazy Eights, the picture books When We Are Kind and My Heart Fills with Happiness and the nonfiction middle-grade book Speaking Our Truth. Speaking Our Truth is also on this list.

The Current12:15Richard Van Camp on telling stories and staying connected

Author and Calgary Public Library’s storyteller-in-residence Richard Van Camp is helping people tell their own stories during the pandemic, as a way to stay connected and remember what it means to be human. He tells us why he’s embraced this difficult moment.

Sugar Falls 10th anniversary edition is a graphic novel by David A. Robertson. (Highwater Press)

Sugar Falls is based on the true story of Betty Ross, an elder from Manitoba’s Cross Lake First Nation. Adopted into a loving family at a young age, Ross was sent to residential school at eight years of age — and endured abuse while she was there. Sugar Falls recounts her journey in an age-accessible way, and highlights the role her father’s teachings played in helping Ross to keep hope alive. 

A 10th anniversary edition of Sugar Falls was published in 2021.

Sugar Falls is one of several books by Robertson and illustrated by Henderson on this list.

Unreserved10:51‘Truth is truth’: why Michelle Good’s residential school fiction resonates

Michelle Good, who is nehiyaw from Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, wrote about a fictional story about five residential school survivors who stuck together as children but, chart their own difficult paths as young adults.

Not My Girl is a picture book by Christy Jordan-Fenton & Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, art by Gabrielle Grimard. (Annick Press)

Not My Girl is a sequel to the picture book When I Was Eight. The book makes the award-winning memoir, A Stranger at Home, accessible to younger children. Based on Margaret-Olemaun’s real life, it is a poignant story of a determined young girl’s struggle to belong. Margaret’s years at school have changed her. At ten years old, she has forgotten her language and the skills to hunt and fish. Her only comfort is in the books she learned to read.

Pokiak-Fenton, Jordan-Fenton and Grimard have worked on several books together, including Fatty Legs: A True StoryA Stranger At HomeWhen I Was Eight and Not My Girl. Many of these titles can be found on this list.

As Long as the Rivers Flow is a middle-grade book by Larry Loyie, with Constance Brissenden, illustrated by Heather Holmlund. (Groundwood Books,

In As Long as the Rivers Flow, Cree author Larry Loyie writes about his last summer with his family before going to residential school in Northern Alberta in 1944. Lawrence learns things like how to care for a baby owl, and how to gather medicinal plants with his Kokom. Loyie’s story highlights how his education at home was disrupted by the residential school system.

As Long as the Rivers Flow won the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction and First Nation Communities Read.

Larry Loyie was born in Slave Lake, Alta., and lived in Edmonton. He also wrote Goodbye Buffalo Bay and The Gathering Tree. He died in 2016.

Heather D. Holmlund is an artist and painter. She studied fine art and the visual arts at York University, specializing in watercolour. 

Five Little Indians is a novel by Michelle Good. (Harper Perennial, Candice Camille)

In Five Little Indians, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie were taken from their families and sent to a residential school when they were very small. Barely out of childhood, they are released and left to contend with the seedy world of eastside Vancouver. Fuelled by the trauma of their childhood, the five friends cross paths over the decades and struggle with the weight of their shared past. 

Five Little Indians won the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction and the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award.

Michelle Good is a Cree writer and retired lawyer, as well as a member of Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Five Little Indians is her first book.

The Current22:00Residential school survivor Augie Merasty, ‘We were treated like animals’ – April 16, 2015

This is the story of one man… elderly now with a childhood of brutality seared into his memory. He wrote a book to tell the world what he survived in a Manitoba residential school. His is the story of one little boy and the adults who betrayed him.

One Story, One Song is a short story collection by Richard Wagamese. (Yvette Lehmann, Douglas & McIntyre)

In One Story, One Song, Wagamese invites readers to accompany him on his travels. His focus is on stories: how they shape us, how they empower us, how they change our lives. Ancient and contemporary, cultural and spiritual, funny and sad, the tales are grouped according to the four essential principles Ojibway traditional teachers sought to impart: humility, trust, introspection and wisdom.

Wagamese is the author of several books, including Medicine WalkRagged Company, Him Standing, Dream Wheel, the poetry book Runaway Dreams and memoirs For JoshuaEmbers and One Native Life. Two of his books, Indian Horse and One Story, One Song, appear on this list. He died in 2017.

Lisa Bird-Wilson is the author of The Red Flies, a poetry collection. (Harbour Publishing, Nightwood Editions)

Drawing from family photographs and archival records, Lisa Bird-Wilson writes poetry to commemorate the generations of children traumatized by the residential school system. The project is a personal one as Bird-Wilson’s own grandparents, aunts and uncles were among the 150,000 Indigenous students to attend residential schools. The title of the book comes from the federal government, who organized the residential school archives into « black files » and « red files. »

Bird-Wilson is a Métis and nêhiyaw writer who lives in Saskatchewan. She is also the author of the short story collection Just Pretending, the nonfiction book An Institute of Our Own and the novel Probably Ruby.

Joseph Auguste Merasty shares his story of resilience and perseverance in his 2015 memoir. (University of Regina Press/Courtesy of David Carpenter)

Joseph Auguste Merasty was 86 when he approached David Carpenter about writing his memoirs. At the time Merasty was homeless, suffered from alcoholism and was prone to disappearing for long periods of time. But the pair persisted in creating a heart-rending record of Merasty’s experience with abuse in St. Therese Residential School near Sturgeon Landing, Sask. He was five years old when he first enrolled at the institution in 1935. They shared Merasty’s story in The Education of Augie Merasty.

The Education of Augie Merasty was shortlisted for the CODE Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Literature.

Merasty was a storyteller, fisherman, trapper, amateur boxer and « jack of all trades. » He died at the age of 87 in 2017.

David Carpenter is an author and fisherman based in Saskatoon. He has written 10 books, including Niceman Cometh and A Hunter’s Confession.

Sunday Edition29:29« They Called Me Number One » with author Chief Bev Sellars

Bev Sellars has written a memoir « They Called Me Number One » about the impact of residential school on three generations – herself, her mother and her grandmother.

Monique Gray Smith is the author of Speaking Our Truth. (Centric Photography, Orca Books)

In Speaking Our Truth, Cree, Lakota and Scottish author Monique Gray Smith makes the topic of reconciliation accessible to a young audience of Indigenous readers and aspiring allies alike. The innovative book helps young readers understand the history of the residential school system in Canada and its lasting effects on survivors today. Inspired by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the book includes questions and prompts to help young people think about these complicated issues, and how to move forward with understanding and empathy.

Speaking Our Truth was shortlisted for the 2018 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.

Gray Smith’s many other books include the novels Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience and Tilly and the Crazy Eights, the picture books When We Are Kind and My Heart Fills with Happiness. Her novella Lucy & Lola is also on this list.

Unreserved38:25Reclaiming and revitalizing Indigenous languages

For the United Nations’ International Year of Indigenous Languages, initiatives to strengthen ties between Indigenous people and their languages are being taken up across the world. This week on Unreserved, stories of reclamation and revitalization of Indigenous languages.

They Called Me Number One is a memoir by Bev Sellars. (Talonbooks)

Xat’sull chief Bev Sellars tells the story of three generations of Indigenous women who survived the residential school system in Canada: her grandmother, her mother and herself. Sellars shares stories of enduring starvation, forced labour and physical abuse at St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., a place that prided itself on « civilizing » Indigenous children.

Sellars is also the author of Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival.

Unreserved43:38‘I have so much to say’: Cree author David A. Robertson on writing everything from graphic novels to a memoir

To say Cree author David A. Robertson is prolific is a bit of an understatement. He started his writing career in 2009, and has already published more than 20 titles. This fall he has three books being released. This week on Unreserved, an extended conversation with the author.

Pauline Young with the two books she was asked to illustrate, I Lost My Talk and I’m Finding My Talk. (Gail Harding/CBC)

 I Lost My Talk shares Rita Joe’s iconic poem with a new generation. I Lost My Talk is about how Joe, a Mi’kmaw elder and poet, lost her language and culture after she was sent to residential school. 

I’m Finding My Talk is Rebecca Thomas’s response to I Lost My Talk. Thomas is a poet and a second-generation residential school survivor. In I’m Finding My Talk, she celebrates reconnecting with her language and culture.

Both books are for readers aged 4-8.

Both books are illustrated by Pauline Young, a Mi’kmaw illustrator who lives in New Brunswick.

The Next Chapter4:35Katherena Vermette answers The Next Chapters’ Proust questionnaire

Author Katherena Vermette brought along her baby girl Ruby when she dropped by our studio in Toronto to take The Next Chapter’s Proust questionnaire.

7 Generations is a graphic novel by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Scott B. Henderson. (HighWater Press, Amber Green)

7 Generations is a four-part graphic novel. The story follows one Indigenous family over three centuries and seven generations. It was originally published as a series of four graphic novels: Stone, Scars, Ends/Begins and The Pact.

7 Generations is one of several books by Robertson and illustrated by Henderson on this list.

Unreserved11:04Return to tradition: How author Helen Knott used writing and ceremony to overcome trauma

In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience tells the story of how Helen Knott overcame addiction and trauma, and how writing became instrumental to her healing.

Amik Loves School is the seventh book in the Seven Teachings Stories series by Katherena Vermette. (Lisa Delorme Meiler/HIGHWATER)

Amik tells Moshoom about his wonderful school. Then his grandfather tells him about the residential school he went to, much different from Amik’s school. Amik Loves School is one book in The Seven Teachings Stories series. The Seven Sacred Teachings of the Anishinaabe — love, wisdom, humility, courage, respect, honesty and truth — are revealed in seven stories for children.

Katherena Vermette is a Métis writer from Treaty One territory. She won the Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry for her first book, North End Love Songs. Her debut novel, The Break, was a finalist on Canada Reads 2017. 

Irene Kuziw is a freelance artist and illustrator. She has worked in galleries, museums and schools. Her work has been exhibited in numerous art shows. A graduate of the University of Manitoba School of Art, Kuziw lives in the Interlake region of Manitoba.

The Next Chapter17:50Wab Kinew on The Reason You Walk

Wab Kinew talks about his memoir, an account of the year he spent with his dying father.

Edmund Metatawabin, pictured above in 2013, is a survivor of St. Anne’s residential school in Fort Albany, Ont. (Colin Perkel, Vintage Canada)

Up Ghost River is a memoir of Edmund Metatawabin’s experience in residential school. Metatawabin was taken from his family at the age of seven, physically and sexually abused by staff members, and stripped of his Indigenous identity in school. As an adult, Metatawabin suffered from PTSD and became addicted to alcohol. In seeking treatment with an Indigenous support group, Metatawabin was able to come to terms with what happened to him and has since become a counsellor, championing Indigenous knowledge.

Metatawabin is a Cree writer, educator, activist and former Chief of Fort Albany First Nation.

Alexandra Shimo is an author and journalist based in Toronto. She is a former producer for CBC Radio and editor at Maclean’s. She is also the author of Invisible North.

Broken Circle is a memoir by Theodore Fontaine. (Travis Golby/CBC, Heritage House Publishing)

Broken Circle is a memoir by Theodore Fontaine, who lost his family and freedom just after his seventh birthday, when his parents were forced to leave him at an Catholic residential school. Twelve years later, he left school frozen at the emotional age of seven — confused, angry and on a path of self-destruction. Step by step, he began a journey of self-exploration and healing.

Fontaine is a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. He attended the Fort Alexander Indian Residential School and the Assiniboia Indian Residential School. Fontaine was chief of the Sagkeeng First Nation and the chair of the Indigenous Leadership Development Institute based in Winnipeg. He died in May 2021.

In My Own Moccasins is a memoir by Helen Knott. (Tenille K. Campbell/, University of Regina Press)

Helen Knott’s memoir, In My Own Moccasins, is a story of addiction, sexual violence and intergenerational trauma. It explores how colonization has impacted her family over generations. But it is also a story of hope and redemption, celebrating the resilience and history of her family.

Knott is a poet and writer of Dane Zaa, nehiyaw and European descent. She was chosen for the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Program. In My Own Moccasins is her first book.

Wab Kinew is a politican and the author of The Reason You Walk. (Anthony Thosh Collins/Penguin Canada)

The Reason You Walk is a memoir by politician and broadcaster Wab Kinew. After his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Kinew was determined to reconnect with his father, a residential school survivor and respected chief. In the process, Kinew reflects on his own troubled youth.

Kinew is the leader of Manitoba’s New Democratic Party. Prior to his career in politics, Kinew was a musician and broadcaster, hosting the CBC series 8th Fire and Canada Reads in 2015. He is also the author of Go Show the World, a children’s picture book about Indigenous heroes throughout history.

Betty is a graphic novel written by David A. Robertson and drawn by Scott B. Henderson. (HighWater Press)

Helen Betty Osborne, known as Betty, dreamed of becoming a teacher. She left her home to attend residential school and high school in a small town in Manitoba. On November 13, 1971, Betty was abducted and brutally murdered by four young men. Initially met with silence and indifference, her tragic murder resonates loudly today. Betty represents one of almost 1,200 Indigenous women in Canada who have been murdered or gone missing.

7 Generations is one of several books by Robertson and illustrated by Henderson on this list.

The Land Is Our Storybook is a picture book series by Julie-Anne Andre and Mindy Willett. (Fifth House Publishers)

The Land Is Our Storybook is a series of 10 books for children about the diverse lands and cultures of Canada’s Northwest Territories. Told in a diverse range of northern voices and with a child-centred approach, the series highlight each official Indigenous language group in the N.W.T., revealing a richly textured picture of life in the North-on the trapline, around the campfire, in communities, at school and within the outdoor school that is the land itself.

The series includes We Feel Good Out Here, which offers a personal account of Julie-Ann André’s family story that includes a discussion about her residential school experience.

Mindy Willett is an educational consultant and former teacher from Yellowknife. Willett has worked with storytellers, Elders and cultural leaders from ten regions in the territory to capture real stories of everyday life as it exists today.

Julie-Ann Andre is a Gwichya Gwich’in from Tsiigehtchic in the N.W.T.. She is a Canadian Ranger, a mother of twin daughters, a hunter, a trapper and a student.

A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for former students and those affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.

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