The Current

First Nations authors discuss Carolyn Bennett's proposed indigenous book club month

Last week on The Current, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Carolyn Bennett, mentioned the idea of a nation-wide indigenous book club month. We love the idea and convened a panel of aboriginal writers to offer their thoughts and book picks. *Audio posted momentarily*
Tracey Lindberg, author of "Birdie," Lee Maracle's new book is called "Memory Serves," and Drew Hayden Taylor is the author of "The Best of... Funny You Don't Look Like One."

If you've never read Drew Hayden Taylor's "The Night Wanderer: A Native Gothic Novel"... or if you haven't read much of Canada's great literature by indigenous writers, then maybe you should put it on your book club's agenda.

Say...  for this June.

Last week on The Current, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett proposed an intriguing idea - an aboriginal book club month.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett proposed a great idea for the month of June - an aboriginal book club month. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
"We're hoping to make June Indigenous Book Club month such that all the book clubs in Canada could pick an indigenous author or the book of an ally that we could actually begin this work of saying it's never too late, and life long learning is now one of the pillars of an active aging movement.- Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett

Inspired by this ingenious idea, we asked three well respected First Nations authors to share their thoughts about indigenous literature.

  • Lee Maracle is an author and academic. She is of Salish and Métis ancestry and is a member of the Stó:lō Nation. She has two new books, "Memory Serves" and "Talking to the Diaspora."
  • Tracey Lindberg is a citizen of the As'in'i'wa'chi nation and hails from the Kelly Lake Cree Nation.  She is an award-winning author. Her best-selling novel "Birdie" is on the Canada Reads long list. 
  • Drew Hayden Taylor is an award-winning Ojibway author and playwright. His latest book is called "The Best of - Funny You Don't Look Like One." He's starting a writer in residence at Wilfried Laurier University next week.

Book recommended in our segment:
"A Coyote Columbus Story" by Thomas King
"My Mother is Weird" by Rachna Gilmore
"Halfbreed, The Book of Jessica, and Stories of the Road Allowance People" by Maria Campbell
"The Outside Circle" (collection)

Authors recommended in our segment:
Joseph Boyden, Richard van Camp, Leann Simpson, Marilyn Dumont, Jeanette Armstrong, Beatrice Culleton Mosionier, Louise Halfe, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Eden Robinson, Richard Wagamese

What book by an indigenous author would you recommend for Indigenous Book Club Month? 

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This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.