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Publisher's Summary

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

In 1966, 12-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 -20 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 boardinghouse 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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio. 

©2017 Tanya Talaga (P)2018 Anansi Audio

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A book for deep reflection

This is a must read for any Canadian residents. It's a hard truth to hear, but a necessary one. Reflect on our past, our history, and reimage our future in the age of truth and reconciliation. #Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Indigenous we are

Loved it! Gave me a deeper understanding of what the settlers are still putting us through throughout Canada!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Essential reading for Canadians

This book illuminated a number of aspects about how indigenous people (particularly young people) struggle to thrive in Canada.

I would also recommend CBC's podcast series, Finding Cleo, as an excellent follow up for extending your knowledge of this contentious area of Canadian history.

#Audible1

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a must read for all Canadians!

This story is written so well and should be a must read for all Canadians.

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Pivotal Piece

The contemporary history of indigenous education. It wove together the lives of 7 students and others who are making their way through a perilous journey. it was a compelling audiobook book. I look forward to reading this book and her next book.

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Heart breaking and raw

Something all Canadians should read to truly understand the legacy of colonialism & its ongoing effects on Native communities.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful