Edmonton

Truth and reconciliation anthology launches in Edmonton

A collection of stories about Canada's colonial past to be launched Wednesday night was inspired by testimony at the Truth and Reconciliation hearings in Edmonton.

'In This Together' is a collection of essays from indigenous and non-indigenous authors across the country

The anthology features 15 essays from both indigenous and non-indigenous contributors from across the country. (Brindle & Glass)
A collection of stories about Canada's colonial past to be launched Wednesday night was inspired by testimony at the Truth and Reconciliation hearings in Edmonton.

In This Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation offers insight from a wide range of experiences, and includes essays from both indigenous and non-indigenous authors from across the country.

The anthology is the work of Edmonton's former historian laureate, Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail, who felt compelled to commission the stories after hearing gut-wrenching testimony at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearing in Edmonton.

"You almost don't want to believe it," she said. "There is this sense of denial, but of course it's true, it happened. Hearing all these survivors has been incredibly inspiring to me."

Metcalfe-Chenail hopes by putting the stories on the page, the conversation around reconciliation — no matter how painful — will continue across Canada.
Editor of the collection, Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail was inspired to create the collection after the TRC hearings in Edmonton. (ncf.ca)

"I'm trying to honour their memories and their legacies, and bring to light a wide range of issues that relate to Canada's colonial past."

The collection focuses on moments of clarity or "aha" moments from people grappling with the harsh reality of colonialism and racism in Canada, Metcalfe-Chenail said.

"I think for so many of us, that's what happens, a lightbulb goes off in our heads, that we are living in a place with a colonial past and present," she said.

"These are heartfelt, approachable stories."

Metcalfe-Chenail will launch the book in partnership with Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton, or RISE, Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Stanley Milner Library.

A panel discussion will feature local contributors Steven Cooper, Carissa Halton and Rhonda Kronyk.

"I'm glad events like this are happening," said Miranda Jimmy, founder of RISE.

"Reconciliation doesn't live in the past. It lives in the present and the future. This is a way to reconnect with people who want to carry on the conversation."

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