Children's Books

Students in Victoria learn about reconciliation through Monique Gray Smith's book Speaking Our Truth

Young readers met with author Monique Gray Smith to talk about colonialism, reconciliation and allyship.
Monique Gray Smith speaks to a group of young readers about Speaking Our Truth, a nonfiction book about reconciliation and the legacy of Canada's residential school system. (Kim Cobb)

Author Monique Gray Smith's latest book Speaking Our Truth is a young person's guide to reconciliation. On Oct. 12, 2018, a group of young people in Victoria met with Smith to learn about the concept firsthand.

The nonfiction book is one of five titles nominated for the $50,000 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award and features reflections from young people on the theme of reconciliation. One of these youth voices is a student at Victoria's Selkirk Montessori — the school Smith visited as part of one of a number of TD Kids Book Clubs taking place across Canada. 

At the school, Smith spoke about the overwhelming response to her search for young voices to feature in her award-nominated book and the lasting impression that one Selkirk student made on her during a previous visit. 

Author Monique Gray Smith speaks about a young reader who left a unique impression on her. 1:50
Young readers in Victoria had a chance to meet with author Monique Gray Smith and ask questions about her nonfiction children's book Speaking Our Truth. (Frances Kennedy)

Participating students were invited to ask questions about the book, about Indigenous-settler relations in Canada and about the concept of allyship. They were joined by CBC Radio's North by Northwest host Sheryl MacKay, who has also been asking schools across British Columbia to share their own stories about actions they're taking to promote reconciliation in the classroom. 

Monique Gray Smith speaking to students at Selkirk Montessori in Victoria about her book Speaking Our Truth. (Frances Kennedy)


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.