Sunday December 18, 2016

Indigenous Reads: Our panel discusses Take Us To Your Chief

Indigenous Reads panel discussion of Drew Hayden Taylor's Take Us To Your Chief. 1:01

Drew Hayden Taylor's collection of short stories, Take Us To Your Chief, is the third selection in our Indigenous Reads book club.

Taylor explained why he wanted to write a book that intersects First Nations story with science fiction.

"A lot of our writers have been focused on, or limited to, this very narrow path of what is defined as Native literature. It's either victim narratives, or historical pieces, or the by-products of what I refer to as post-contact stress disorder," Taylor said.

"But I know our imagination is so varied and so why can't we think outside that thin narrative?"

Click the Listen button above to hear the full discussion of Take Us To Your Chief

Indigenous Reads Take Us To Your Chief book panel

From left: Nova Courchene, David A. Robertson, Rosanna Deerchild and Trevor Phillips. (Erica Daniels/CBC)

"My favourite story was "Dreams of Doom". I thought it was hilarious. It doesn't get much funnier than dreamcatchers being tools of espionage for INAC (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada). I think that's one of the most clever constructions I've seen from a short story." - Trevor Phillips, Indigenous grad student success coordinator at the University of Manitoba.

Trevor Phillips

Trevor Phillips (Erica Daniels/CBC)

"He had a tough job with this book. I think for me, the ideas in a lot of these stories, if not all of them, were really great. They were aiming high and often times he hit those and sometimes the execution wasn't quite there." - David A. Robertson, author of Betty: The Helen Betty Osborne Story.

David Alexander Robertson

David Alexander Robertson, winner of the Governor General's Award for young people's literature, illustrated books, says it was important for him 'to try and educate kids about residential school history.' (Provided by David Robertson)

"I work with youth and I think that Take Us To Your Chief would be beautiful for teenagers and preteens. It's easy enough for them to read and it also gives them a perspective that they are not used to seeing in any of the media they consume." - Nova Courchene, arts administrator in music.