This powerful debut novel is by a member of Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Good writes an insightful, gut-wrenching and vital story that every Canadian should read.
Five Little Indians is told from the alternating points of view between characters Lucy, Maisie, Clara, Kenny and Howie. These five little Indigenous children were forcefully taken from their families at a very young age, and sent to a church-run residential school where they experienced inhumane treatment. When they are finally released from this torturous dungeon of a school and thrown into the real world, they are alone, wounded, possess no work skills and have no families to support them. Will these broken teenagers be able to find their way in the foreign land of downtown Vancouver? Will they ever be able to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn’t necessarily want them?
As the reader, you’ll walk alongside these five survivors through their tough, unforgiving existence and see how their paths crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome the years of trauma they endured. This novel is not for the faint of heart. It paints an accurate and highly disturbing picture of what the children who were stolen from their homes and sent to residential schools experienced, and the unbelievable challenges they faced if they were lucky enough to make it out alive. At the same time, this expertly crafted, heart-breaking and truly unforgettable story is sure to educate, touch your heart and leave a lasting impact on your soul.
In conclusion, this 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award winner and Canada Reads 2022 contender is a true masterpiece and a vital piece of Canadian Indigenous fiction.