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Speaking our truth : a journey of reconciliation
2017
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Summary
Canada's relationship with its Indigenous people has suffered as a result of both the residential school system and the lack of understanding of the historical and current impact of those schools. Healing and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness and increased understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt by Survivors and their families. Guided by acclaimed Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith, readers will learn about the lives of Survivors and listen to allies who are putting the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission into action.
Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-7-A sensitive and extensive insight into the experiences of Indigenous people in Canada. Smith traces the historical events, movements, and laws affecting people of the First Nations and connects this history to the impact still resonating generations later. The book largely addresses the laws that forcibly removed Indigenous children from their families and sent them to residential schools in an attempt to "civilize" them. Replete with primary sources, including photos and personal accounts from those who lived in the residential schools, Smith tackles difficult and complex conversations with straightforwardness and compassion. These topics include institutionalized racism, forced sterilization, and the destruction of Indigenous cultures. Despite the somber topic, Smith consistently empowers readers to be agents of change and provides specific suggestions to take action. Smith wrote this book in the second person, which creates a uniquely personal experience wherein readers are immersed in the conversation. In addition, questions for reflection are peppered throughout, making the work very accessible for classroom use. Though Smith does not specifically address U.S. history, many of the laws and actions described in Canada have been and are mirrored in the United States. The thorough back matter also makes this volume great for research. For older readers, this work pairs nicely with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States. VERDICT Purchase this vibrant, must-have title to prompt critical thinking and open discussions.-Paige Rowse, Needham High School, MA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
Delving into nonfiction, Smith invites middle-grade readers to accompany her on what she calls a journey of reconciliation through Canada's history. The book's title is distilled from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC, 2010-15), and the text aims to fill the gap in school curriculum about Canada's First Nations Peoples, with a focus on the residential schools. Smith's narrative tone is inviting and friendly, often addressing the reader directly as she takes them from the earliest moments of colonial contact, through the Indian Act of 1894, traumatic residential school experiences, forced sterilization, Indigenous resistance, the 94 Calls to Action of the TRC, and the ways today's children can be allies and actors in the ongoing process of reconciliation and anti-oppression. Maps, photo illustrations, sidebars, glossaries, personal narratives from residential-school survivors, teachings from Elders, quotes, and extracts from the TRC report provide important text features and add texture. Readers from south of the Canadian border might be inspired to start asking questions about their own history.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2017 Booklist
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Fiction/Biography Profile
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Table of Contents
1Welcome to the Journeyp. 9
Why Do We Need This Journey?p. 11
Preparing for the Journeyp. 14
Monique's Journeyp. 16
Powerful Medicinep. 19
The Seven Sacred Teachingsp. 22
2Honesty: Where Have We Come From?p. 27
Knowing the Truthp. 28
Pre-Contactp. 30
The Historical Journeyp. 33
The Residential Schoolsp. 41
The Children Who Never Came Homep. 62
Effects on Familiesp. 63
Métis Childrenp. 68
Inuit Childrenp. 69
Ripple Effectp. 70
Speaking Outp. 76
3Love: Where Do We Stand Today?p. 79
What Does Reconciliation Mean?p. 81
The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreementp. 85
Apologyp. 87
The Truth and Reconciliation Commissionp. 88
The National TRC Eventsp. 92
Honourary Witnessesp. 94
Calls to Actionp. 96
Walk for Reconciliationp. 97
Barriers to Justicep. 97
In the End... or Perhaps the Beginningp. 98
Lovep. 99
4Kindness and Reciprocity: Where Do We Go From Here?p. 101
Building Bridgesp. 104
Talking Reconciliationp. 110
Being an Allyp. 118
What Can You Do?p. 120
Messages to Inspire You on Your Journeyp. 126
Reconciliation Projects and Initiativesp. 126
Until Our Paths Cross Againp. 134
Acknowledgmentsp. 139
Online Resourcesp. 141
Reading Listp. 142
Glossaryp. 144
List of Residential Schoolsp. 147
Indexp. 151
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