Nishga is a book by Jordan Abel.

Jordan Abel

Nishga is a deeply personal and autobiographical book that attempts to address the complications of contemporary Indigenous existence. As a Nisga'a writer, Jordan Abel often finds himself in a position where he is asked to explain his relationship to Nisga'a language, Nisga'a community, and Nisga'a cultural knowledge. However, as an intergenerational survivor of residential school — both of his grandparents attended the same residential school in Chilliwack, British Columbia — his relationship to his own Indigenous identity is complicated to say the least.

Nishga explores those complications and is invested in understanding how the colonial violence originating at the Coqualeetza Indian Residential School impacted his grandparents' generation, then his father's generation, and ultimately his own. The project is rooted in a desire to illuminate the realities of intergenerational survivors of residential school, but sheds light on Indigenous experiences that may not seem to be immediately (or inherently) Indigenous.

Drawing on autobiography, a series of interconnected documents (including pieces of memoir, transcriptions of talks, and photography), Nishga is a book about confronting difficult truths and it is about how both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples engage with a history of colonial violence that is quite often rendered invisible. (From McClelland & Stewart)

Abel is a Nisga'a writer from British Columbia. He is the author of the poetry collections The Place of ScrapsUn/inhabited and Injun. In 2017, he won the Griffin Poetry Prize for Injun.

Interviews with Jordan Abel

Jordan Abel wants you to know that you don't have to read his new autobiographical book Nishga if you're not ready. The subject matter — residential schools, dispossession and intergenerational trauma — might be too much to handle. But he hopes that readers will find it when they need it.
Western novels were one of the first places Nisga’a poet Jordan Abel encountered representations of Indigenous peoples. His new collection of poetry won the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize and used a unique process to rearticulate the stereotypes common in westerns.

Other books by Jordan Abel

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