YA author Cherie Dimaline's recent visit to Halifax reflected on Canada's past, present and potential future
Métis author Cherie Dimaline made an appearance at the Halifax Central Library this March to read from her YA novel The Marrow Thieves. The book is about a group of Indigenous people hunted for their marrow and its dream-inducing properties in a world that has lost the ability to dream. The work will be defended on Canada Reads 2018 by singer Jully Black.
The event was hosted by CBC Mainstreet's Bob Murphy as part of the Canada Reads 2018 regional events taking place across the country. In front of an audience that included Indigenous youth, Dimaline spoke about coming to terms with Canada's colonial past.
She stressed that the book is written for young people for a reason. Having worked with and talked to Indigenous youth in other First Nations, Dimaline discovered that they didn't feel they had a place in the future; she resolved at that point to write a YA novel that depicts a future where Indigenous youth are seen as heroes.
Dimaline's message — celebrating a generation that looks at and learns from Canada's history of residential schools —created discussion throughout the rest of the evening. She addressed questions about colonialism in everyday situations and how conversations can be more productive between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people going forward.
The author of The Marrow Thieves summed up her thoughts by emphasizing the importance of stories, stating that "telling our narratives in our voices with our histories is crucial."
Also this month, residential school survivor Dorene Bernard appeared on Mainstreet to share her opinion on Dimaline's story with young readers. The full discussion can be heard below.
Audio highlights of the event can also be heard here.