Celebrating Indigenous Book Club Month

June is Indigenous Book Club Month. Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett is encouraging Canadians to share their favourite books and authors under the hashtag Indigenous Reads on social media.
June is Indigenous Book Club Month. Who is your favourite Indigenous author? (CBC)

June is Indigenous Book Club Month and Carolyn Bennett, minister of Indigenous and northern affairs, is encouraging Canadians to share their favourite books and authors on social media using #IndigenousReads.

Tomson Highway, Tracey Lindberg, Lee Maracle, Waubgeshig RiceMarilyn Dumont, and Thomas King are just some of the amazing stories being, read, loved and shared. 

Since I happen to have an entire book case of love I want to share one my favourite books.

I was in the 9th grade, awkward and quiet. For me, books were an escape or a way of understanding the world. This small book with the humble black cover sat on a shelf with others that had bold pictures and large print titles. But it this small story whispered to me "Over here. See my story."

In Search of April Raintree was written by Beatrice Culleton-Mosionier. Part autobiography, part history, it tells the story of two Métis sisters who survive, abuse, abandonment, the child welfare system and devastating loss. It is also about resilience, strength and cultural reclamation. 

I could not put it down. Hours passed, I read through tears and sobs. Screamed out loud at the heartbreaking injustices and read over and over the parts that reflected my own life.

Story is more than distraction. It can save lives. The gift April and Beatrice gave to me was that I finally felt like I was not alone. At last there were stories I could carry and say, here, I am. I am here.
Mini Aodla Freeman shares her extraordinary story of moving between two worlds. (Niels Jenson)
Our stories have come a long way from the days when they were few and far between. I hope that we will tell them together.

Mini Aodla Freeman is Inuk and grew up in the far Arctic. As a young woman she moved to Ottawa to be a translator and her entire life changed. Life Among the Qallunaat is her incredible story and one that was almost silenced.

Tomson Highway is a Cree storyteller of endless talent. He is a playwright, novelist, musician, and songwriter.  In The (Post) Mistress he combines all of these skills to create Marie-Louise — a middle-aged letter sorter who sorts more than just mail.

MOONSHOT is a graphic novel anthology that includes dozens of contributors from across North America. Self-admitted girl geek Hope Nicholson tells us why a picture is work a thousand words. 

CBC's Martha Troian shares how she is teaching her young son about residential schools through the use of children's books that tell the story of that dark legacy.

Archival image of Willie Thrasher. (Submitted by Willie Thrasher)
This week's music playlist:

Beatrice Deer - Paiing

Willie Thrasher - Spirit Child