Save the date: Turtle Island Reads Live event

On Monday, April 8, join CBC Montreal for an evening of stories written by and about Indigenous Canadians at the third installment of Turtle Island Reads.

Rosanna Deerchild hosts an evening at John Abbott College

The Turtle Island Reads initiative celebrates stories written by and about Indigenous Canadians. Now in its third year, the objective of TIR is to connect readers with Indigenous stories.

On Monday, April 8, join CBC Montreal for an evening of stories written by and about Indigenous people in Canada at the third installment of Turtle Island Reads.

The annual initiative kicked off in September at McGill and culminates with two free back-to-back events at John Abbott College.

From 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., join us for a panel discussion entitled Indigenous stories in the media: What journalists, filmmakers and other media professionals get right, what they get wrong, and how to improve things.

In partnership with John Abbott's Media Arts department and Indigenous Studies Certificate, Rosanna Deerchild host of Unreserved will led a conversation about the representation of Indigenous stories in the media.

Join Jessica Deer, Brittany LeBorgne, Michelle Smith and Greg Horn for a panel discussion on how Indigenous stories are covered in the media. (CBC)

Panelists include:

  • Jessica Deer, Montreal-based reporter/editor at CBC Indigenous.
  • Brittany LeBorgne, actor/writer production coordinator at Rezolution Pictures.
  • Michelle Smith, Dawson professor in cinema-communications; filmmaker; coordinator of Dawson College's transition program for Indigenous students, Journeys.
  • Greg Horn, Indigenous storyteller and editor for Iorì:wase, the Kahnawake weekly print and online newspaper.

The panel discussion will be followed by our Turtle Island Reads Book Club, which takes place from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.  

The Turtle Island Reads initiative chooses three works of fiction written by an Indigenous Canadian author, as well as three advocates who act as a "champion" for each book. 

For our 2019 edition, three high schools in Quebec were also selected to each read one of the books. The students and teachers from these three classrooms worked with the advocates over the course of the year to discuss book themes and overall impressions.

The pairings were as follows:

  •  Kahnawake Survival School teachers Heather White, Krissy Goodleaf, Rainbow Jacobs and their students read The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline with book advocate Tracey Deer.
  • LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School teacher Jennifer Beaudoin and her students read Those Who Run with the Sky by Aviaq Johnston with book advocate Lucy Tulugarjuk.
  • New Richmond High School teacher Jennifer Roy and her students read Will I See by David. A. Robertson with book advocate is Dayna Danger.

Join Rosanna Deerchild for a lively debate with advocates as they explain how their selected novel resonated with them and what it was like to share the experience with high school students.

Book advocate Tracey Deer (second from left) teamed up with Kahnawake Survival School Language Arts teachers Krissy Goodleaf, Rainbow Jacobs and Heather White to champion "The Marrow Thieves" by Cherie Dimaline (seen here holding book). ( Paul Rombough )


WHAT: Turtle Island Reads: A live event in 2 parts.

WHEN: Monday, April 8, 2019.

WHERE: John Abbott College. Casgrain theatre (The Casgrain Theatre is located in the Casgrain Building. 21275 Lakeshore Dr, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, H9X 3L9).

TIME:  Panel Discussion from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m, book club event with high schools and advocates from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. 

COST: Admission to both events is free. Click here for the Facebook event.

The Turtle Island Reads initiative is a partnership between CBC Montreal, LEARN, Quebec Writers' Federation, CODE NGO and McGill Faculty of Education as well as McGill University's Social Equity and Diversity Education Office.

Every English-language and Indigenous school in the province of Quebec received copies of all three Turtle Island Reads book club titles for their libraries.

In addition, the Quebec Writers' Federation is sending three poet/facilitors, Domenica Martinelllo, Greg Santos, and Shannon Webb-Campbell, to deliver creative writing workshops with the students in the participating classes.  

teacher's guide is also available on the Curio website.  Available for download, the introductory guide provides background on the project, outlines special considerations, and offers a pre-reading activity and extension activities to begin exploring the Indigenous-settler narrative in Canada. The second guide offers book summaries and activities specific to each of the three Turtle Island Reads 2019 books.