Students in Montreal discuss what reconciliation looks like with Speaking Our Truth author Monique Gray Smith
On Oct. 23, 2018, students from two Montreal schools had the opportunity to talk with Speaking Our Truth author Monique Gray Smith about her nonfiction book — one of five finalists for the $50,000 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.
All told, 56 Grade 5 students from St. Willibrord School in Châteauguay, Que., and Edgewater Elementary in Laval, Que., took part in this timely conversation about colonialism and reconciliation.
St. Willibrord sits adjacent to the Mohawk community of Kahnawake and has many students from the community. On the other side of the St. Lawrence, Edgewater Elementary has a predominantly non-Indigenous student body. Together, both groups of students embarked on a journey to learn more about settler-Indigenous relations in Canada, and how to move forward.
When Smith finally met with the children from St. Willibrord, she spoke to them about the process of writing the book and what reconciliation means to her, but she also heard from some Indigenous and non-Indigenous students about how the book made them feel.