Books·#INDIGENOUSREADS

Brigette Lacquette, Olympian & Indspire Award winner, shares why she's inspired by Harold Johnson's writing

Brigette Lacquette received the Indspire Sports Award in recognition of her achievements in hockey, including becoming the first First Nations athlete to play on Canada's women Olympic team.
Brigette Lacquette recommends reading Firewater by Harold Johnson. (Indspire Awards, University of Regina Press)

Olympic silver medallist Brigette Lacquette received the 2019 Indspire Sports Award in recognition of her achievements in hockey, including becoming the first First Nations athlete to play on Canada's Olympic women's team. 

The Indspire Awards annually honour Indigenous success and achievement. A simulcast of the 2019 Indspire Awards will broadcast on CBC Radio, CBC Television and CBC Gem on June 23, 2019 at 8 p.m. (8:30 p.m. NT).

In celebration of Indigenous Book Club Month and National Indigenous History Month, Lacquette shared a book she found inspiring: Firewater by Harold Johnson.

"Harold R. Johnson had a very interesting narrative.  He uses statistics, stories and research to talk about the negative relationship between First Nations (specifically the Cree) and alcohol. He counters stereotypes with his research by stating that 35 per cent of Indigenous people in Canada abstain completely from alcohol. He also shows a genuine love for his people by allowing himself to become vulnerable while telling his story. 

"For myself, I had a personal connection to this story. It has now been 2 years that I've abstained from alcohol, and have no desire to go back to it. In January of 2017, I came to the realization that I wasn't able to continue my lifestyle and achieve my goals simultaneously. By choosing to live a sober life it has allowed me to live a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally, and I finally feel like I can truly be a role model to the Indigenous youth across the country."