September 1, 2022
September – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
In September Canada recognizes its history of genocidal actions committed against Indigenous communities.
These experiences are explored in many #OwnVoices stories which offer personal accounts by First Nations authors touching on the historical record of cruelty and injustice perpetrated against Indigenous persons in Canada.
Reading about this topic is one way to contribute to reconciliation efforts by getting us thinking about our role in changing this legacy. L&A Libraries offer a variety of such works in adult, youth and junior fiction and non-fiction titles.
We suggest the following as excellent adult nonfiction titles on this topic:
A historical record of government documents that describe the ideological flaws, chronic underfunding, inferior education, inadequate nutrition, rampant disease and pervasive abuse that characterized the residential school system. A clear description of how such inhumane incarceration resulted in thousands of deaths and a legacy of intergenerational trauma.
Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future by Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Essential reading on Canada’s history of human rights abuses perpetrated against Indigenous members of the population.
Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age by Darrel McLeod
Darrel McLeod, a Cree man from Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta, shares a powerful story of resilience. The cruelty his mother endured at an Indian Residential School had ripple effects on their family life.
The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir by Augie Merasty
Joseph A. Merasty, a Cree man from Manitoba, chronicles his life at St. Therese Residential School in Saskatchewan. He details how the institution attempted to mold children in the ways of white society by shaming their Indigenous heritage and penalizing its expression.
Wawahte by Robert Wells
Bob Wells is of mixed Mi’kmaq and European ancestry. His book presents Elders’ personal stories at Pelican Lake Day School and Mcintosh Residential School. It describes the traumatic alienation Indigenous people experienced from their cultures, families, and communities.
See the complete list of suggestions here.
Jennifer is a Librarian at the Amherstview Branch of the L&A Libraries. She regularly writes awareness pieces that offer book suggestions relating to important and commemorative days in Canada.