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Seven fallen feathers : racism, death, and hard truths in a northern city
2017
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Summary

Winner, 2018 RBC Taylor Prize

Winner, 2017 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

Winner, First Nation Communities Read Indigenous Literature Award

Finalist, 2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction

Finalist, 2017 Speaker's Book Award

Finalist, 2018 B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction

A Globe And Mail Top 100 Book

A National Post 99 Best Book Of The Year

In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.

More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau's grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang's. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie's death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water.

Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada's long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.

A portion of each sale of Seven Fallen Feathers will go to the Dennis Franklin Cromarty Memorial Fund, set up in 1994 to financially assist Nishnawbe Aski Nation students' studies in Thunder Bay and at post-secondary institutions.

Trade Reviews
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* Talaga, a veteran investigative reporter for the Toronto Star, has crafted an urgent and unshakable portrait of the horrors faced by indigenous teens going to school in Thunder Bay, Ontario, far from their homes and families. Since the early twentieth century, indigenous children living on Native reservations in northwestern Ontario have lacked access to a quality education. A child's best shot at a bright future is to move away from home and attend school in one of the bigger nearby cities, like Thunder Bay. This often means fleeing the nest and living independently at only 13 or 14 years old. Aside from the premature launch, indigenous teenagers face a myriad of hardships while attending big-city high schools rampant racism, extreme underage alcohol and substance abuse, along with physical and sexual violence. Talaga chronicles seven untimely and largely unsolved deaths that have taken place among Native Thunder Bay students since the new millennium. Seven families lost children too soon, and seven families were denied justice by police, coroners, and school administrators. Talaga's incisive research and breathtaking storytelling could bring this community one step closer to the healing it deserves.--Eathorne, Courtney Copyright 2017 Booklist
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First Chapter or Excerpt
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Table of Contents
Prologuep. 1
Chapter 1Notes from a Blind Manp. 13
Chapter 2Why Chanie Ranp. 49
Chapter 3When the Wolf Comesp. 91
Chapter 4Hurting from the Beforep. 127
Chapter 5The Hollowness of Not Knowingp. 155
Chapter 6We Speak for the Dead to Protect the Livingp. 177
Chapter 7Brothersp. 201
Chapter 8River, Give Me My Son Backp. 243
Chapter 9Less Than Worthy Victimsp. 265
Chapter 10Seven Fallen Feathersp. 287
Epiloguep. 303
Notesp. 316
Suggested Readingp. 341
Acknowledgementsp. 343
Indexp. 351
About the Authorp. 363
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