Monday, February 4, 2013 | Categories: Episodes |
In the early weeks of 2013, the Idle No More movement raised international awareness of the deep frustration and discontent felt by many aboriginal people in Canada. But what was it really all about? Thomas King's latest book The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America provides some deep historical context and timely answers to that question.
The Inconvenient Indian is a nonfiction exploration of the bad relations between First Nations peoples and non-Natives on the continent over the past several centuries. The book is part history, part subversion of history, and it is based on six years of research and Tom's lifetime of experience as a man of Cherokee and Greek descent. The Inconvenient Indian is seething with anger, but leavened with plenty of humour.
Though The Inconvenient Indian is nonfiction, Thomas King is perhaps best known as a novelist. His books A Coyote Columbus Story and Green Grass, Running Water were both nominated for Governor General's Awards.
Thomas King divides his time between Guelph, Ontario and California, which is where Shelagh reached him by phone. Shelagh and Tom had a long conversation about The Inconvenient Indian and the light it sheds on present-day government policies and movements like Idle No More. We only had room to play an excerpt of their conversation on The Next Chapter, but we offer it to you here in its full extended version.