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Jesse Thistle generously, simply, and beautifully shares his raw, rich, and personal story - the truth that those living on Turtle Island need to know. We see our complicated ugly history and the brutal violence in our systemic racism, patriarchal practices, ever-present colonialism, and the sorry ineptitude of our institutions. We are given an intimate look at the life of the homeless person we pass on the street, and an understanding of what it means to need to assuage one's pain with addictive substances. We see the humbling, massive inner strength of this beautiful human being. Jesse Thistle does not cast blame, but we can easily and uncomfortably reach our own conclusions about our complicity in the trajectory of his life. We can be inspired by Mr. Thistle's spirit, by the love of those in his life, and by the robust Métis culture and people as we find our own role in Reconciliation.
A powerful life story about how trauma, family history and Canadian history can shape a person. Jesse has been brave enough to share his journey through early hardships to unpredictable success. Once a homeless drug addict and now an university professor, we have a lot to learn from his story.
A great read and sure to become a Canadian classic!
If you have even been in a low point in your life, I still doubt that you have been as low as the author of this book. Yet, from the very depths of homelessness, and drug addiction this man managed to turn it all around brilliantly.
A highschool drop out, homeless, drug addicted, and truly a pathetic character, to well written and scholarly professor that wrote this amazing memoir.
I am thankful a friend of mine recommended it and if you read it I think you would appreciate it as well.
I also saw Jesse on CTV and his presence moved me to buy this book. So glad I did. I have to say that his contact with Peel Police fascinated me. My family is with Peel Police as well as Toronto Police. It is hard to fathom Jesse's history, struggles and his bravery. His relationship with his grandparents moved me to tears. No one wants to disappoint their family. This book is uplifting, emotional and a triumph. I highly recommend this to anyone struggling with, or know someone struggling, with addiction and hopelessness.
Jesse Thistle’s book tells what is an unbelievable story. You think, while reading it, this man shouldn’t be alive today! And yet, he lives and is doing critical work as a homelessness advocate and as a Metis history scholar. Jesse’s book is absorbing - you won’t want to put it down. It’s a book that will be enjoyed by a wide audience. It will make you think about the homeless person you pass downtown, and create empathy for those struggling with addiction. It should be required reading for government staff, police officers, and should be on high school reading lists everywhere.