A clarion call to action, incorporating powerful stories of failure and success, that points the way for all who seek to preserve indigenous languages. Across North America, dedicated language warriors are powering an upswell, a resurgence, a revitalization of indigenous languages and cultures. Through deliberate suppression and cultural destruction, the five hundred languages spoken on the continent before contact have dwindled to about 150. Their ongoing survival depends on immediate, energetic interventions.
Spíləxmn is a memoir by best-selling author Nicola I. Campbell, Nłeʔkepmx, Syilx and Métis from British Columbia. She deftly weaves rich poetry and vivid prose into a story basket of memories orating what it means to be an intergenerational survivor of Indian Residential Schools. If the hurt and grief we carry is a woven blanket, it is time to weave ourselves anew. We can’t quit. Instead, we must untangle ourselves from the negative forces that have impacted our existence as Indigenous people.
Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story, 10th Anniversary special edition is the timeless graphic novel that introduced the world to the awe-inspiring resilience of Betty Ross, and shared her story of strength, family, and culture. A school assignment to interview a residential school survivor leads Daniel to Betsy, who tells him her story. Abandoned as a young child, Betsy was soon adopted into a loving family. A few short years later, at the age of 8, everything changed. Betsy was taken away to a residential school.
Orange Shirt Day tells the story of Orange Shirt Day, a day observed annually on September 30th to honour residential school survivors and their families, and to remember those who did not make it. This book explores the historical impact on Indigenous people in order to create champions who will walk a path of reconciliation through Orange Shirt Day, promoting the message that Every Child Matters. The Orange Shirt Society is a non-profit society based in Williams Lake BC that grew out of the events in 2013 inspired by Chief Robbins' vision for reconciliation.
Spirit of the Grassroots People: Seeking Justice for Indigenous Survivors of Canada's Colonial Education System, is edited by Raymond Mason, a respected survivor, activist, and Elder who resides in Peguis First Nation, Manitoba; Jackson Pind and Theodore Michael Christou. Spirit of the Grassroots People is a firsthand account of the personal and political challenges Mason confronted on this journey – a memoir.
Childhood Thoughts and Water by John McDonald, a sixth-generation direct descendant of Nehiyawak Chief Mistawasis and resident on Treaty Six Territory in Northern Saskatchewan, is a collection of beat poetry, spoken word, performance art and lyrical verse. This is a work which journeys into the memories and events of an urban Indigenous warrior's struggles to reconnect with a language and culture that is seemingly always almost out of reach.
Mnidoo Bemaasing Bemaadiziwin: Reclaiming, Reconnecting, and Demystifying Resiliency as Life Force Energy for Residential School Survivors is by Theresa Turmel, Anishinaabe-kwe from Michpicoten First Nation. Mnidoo Bemaasing Bemaadiziwin is a twenty-five year research and community based book.