Canadian

The Outside Circle

In Patti LaBoucane-Benson's graphic novel, two Indigenous brothers try to overcome centuries of historic trauma to bring about positive change in their lives.

Patti LaBoucane-Benson, illustrated by Kelly Mellings

In this important graphic novel, two Indigenous brothers surrounded by poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, try to overcome centuries of historic trauma in very different ways to bring about positive change in their lives.

Pete, a young Indigenous man wrapped up in gang violence, lives with his younger brother, Joey, and his mother who is a heroin addict. One night, Pete and his mother's boyfriend, Dennis, get into a big fight, which sends Dennis to the morgue and Pete to jail. Initially, Pete keeps up ties to his crew, until a jail brawl forces him to realize the negative influence he has become on Joey, which encourages him to begin a process of rehabilitation that includes traditional healing circles and ceremonies.

Powerful, courageous, and deeply moving, The Outside Circle is drawn from the author's twenty years of work and research on healing and reconciliation of gang-affiliated or incarcerated Indigenous men. (From House of Anansi Press)

Author interviews

At 15 years old, she was sent to federal prison. Now, she's on day parole, with a good job, and plans to give back to her First Nations community. Today, we explore the Warrior Program, that gives aboriginal offenders a chance for a promising future. 27:29