New book on reconciliation aims to teach all ages about Indigenous history
- EFN Staff | November 05, 2017
A writer from Victoria, BC has released a book to educate people of all ages about the Indigenous peoples’ history and the journey of reconciliation. Monique Gray Smith recently released a book called Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation, which is written primarily for young people but also for those generations in this country that don’t understand the history of Indigenous peoples.
“[The book] outlines a historical perspective that speaks specifically to the legislation that has impacted the wellness of Indigenous peoples in Canada for generations,” she said. “It talks about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the journey of reconciliation and what that means to people.”
The last chapter of the book asks ‘Where do we go from here?’ by looking at the roles of the allies and examining what the programs and activities that occurring in Canada that can foster the wellness of relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.
“Also in the book, I knew that it couldn’t just be my voice so there are stories of survivors that have graciously contributed,” she said. “There’s interviews that I’ve done with intergenerational family members…with youth and elders across the country asking them in many ways what do they know about our history, what does reconciliation mean to them and what do they hope for our country.”
Smith added the youth’s voices in her book are profound as they give incredible hope to the young citizens of today.
It took Smith six months to start and finish this book, where she drew on information from her speaking presentations where she talked about the history through a legislative and resilience lens, as she described. She worked with Orca Books Publishing to publish and release her book. Across the country, many districts have purchased her book already as it fits under many provinces’ curriculum that has been implemented.
“The book really aims to educate the heart and the minds of those who read it,” Smith said. “I hope people take away an understanding that for over 150 years, legislation has not promoted the wellness of Indigenous people.”
Smith said the feedback from readers have been overwhelming to the point where the publisher printed 10,000 copies and has already gone to reprint.
“That says something about the interests in Canada about understanding our history and how do we find a way forward,” she added. “Every review that has been done on it has been beautiful and powerful.”
Smith’s book can be found at bookstores across the country.