Canada Reads

5 things to read, watch and listen to after reading The Marrow Thieves

If you're inspired by the Canada Reads finalist Cherie Dimaline, here are some books, movies and music to check out.
Cherie Dimaline is the author of the YA novel The Marrow Thieves. (CBC)

Beneath Cherie Dimaline's story of a dystopian future lies a narrative about risky journeys. The Indigenous characters in the Canada Reads shortlisted YA novel, The Marrow Thieves, are constantly on the run from recruiters who hunt them for their marrow, which helps non-Indigenous people dream. 

Dimaline's novel will be defended by singer Jully Black on Canada Reads 2018.

Like The Marrow Thieves, the list below brings together narratives where people travel not only to explore, but to also survive and grow.

Read: A Girl Called Echo by Katherena Vermette, Scott B. Henderson and Donovan Yaciuk

A Girl Called Echo is Katherena Vermette's first graphic novel and kicks off a series known as Pemmican Wars. Scott B. Henderson (centre) illustrates, with colouring done by Donovan Yaciuk. ( Press/

A Métis girl bounds across time, between her classroom and buffalo hunt, in A Girl Called Echo. Penned by Canada Reads 2017 finalist and author of The Break, the graphic novel depicts Indigenous history as a living thing and not a list of facts in a textbook.

Read: The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore by Kim Fu

Kim Fu is a Canadian-born writer and editor living in Seattle. (L D’Alessandro, HarperCollins)

Set in the Pacific Northwest, the novel The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore follows five characters trying to make their way back to camp after being stranded on an island. The conversations and established relationships among them begin to change during and after their time in the wilderness, shaking the foundations of their identities.

Read: Those Who Run in the Sky by Aviaq Johnston

Aviaq Johnston is an Igloolik, Nunavut-based author. Her books include Those Who Run in the Sky and What's My Superpower? (Inhabit Media)

The journey in Aviaq Johnson's debut YA novel takes place during an important transition. Pitu, a young shaman, embarks on a trip to prove his skills as a leader of his community, but he stumbles into challenges he never expected when a snowstorm transports him to a spirit world of intimidating creatures. The novel examines whether the person who returns home can ever be the same one that left.

Watch: Sleep Dealer

A wall divides Mexico and the US in Alex Rivera's dystopian film Sleep Dealer. Yet migrant labourers — known as "sleep dealers" — work remotely by connecting to a network of cables in Tijuana that control robots on the other side of the border. This tale of contemporary politics in a cyberpunk setting won the 2008 Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the Sundance Film Festival.     

Listen: We Are the Halluci Nation by A Tribe Called Red 

Shortlisted for the 2017 Polaris Music Prize, the third studio album by A Tribe Called Red is a sonic collection of Indigenous stories. The remixed powwow music on We Are the Halluci Nation features the story of Chanie Wenjack, an Anishinaabe boy who died while escaping a residential school in 1966. The album makes a call for change when it comes to the treatment of Indigenous communities.