Unreserved

Who gets to tell Indigenous stories?

This week on Unreserved, authors and publishers weigh in on who can tell Indigenous stories.
Authors and publishers weigh in on who can tell Indigenous stories. (Arsenal Pulp Press/Book*hug/Scholastic)
Listen to the full episode47:00

This week on Unreserved, authors and publishers weigh in on who can tell Indigenous stories. 

Delilah Saunders was shocked to read a poem about the murder of her sister Loretta Saunders in a book called, Who Took My Sister? by Shannon Webb-Campbell. She'll talk about the danger of reinforcing negative stereotypes and the importance of including families in the creative process.

Non-Indigenous writer Angie Abdou went to great lengths to consult with Ktunaxa people for her fictional novel, In Case I Go. After that consultation process and several rewrites, she still faced backlash from members of the community after the book was published. 

Writer Joshua Whitehead explains the protocols that Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers should be aware of when writing Indigenous stories. 

The complexities of publishing Indigenous stories is a hot topic in the publishing world, but what happens when a newly released book is criticized for its content? Emma Rodgers from Second Story Press discusses what publishers can do to avoid having to pull a book from shelves. 

One way publishers can avoid problems with Indigenous stories is by hiring a sensitivity reader to look over early drafts. Tiffany Morris is a Mi'kmaq freelancer sensitivity reader who got into the industry because of her love of books.

Debbie Reese is the founder of American Indians in Children's Literature, an organization that will look over the content of children's books, to help authors and publishers avoid reinforcing negative stereotypes.  

This Week's Playlist:
Leanne Simpson (Red Works Photography)

Leanne Simpson - This Accident of Being Lost 
Jason and Nadia Burnstick - Pay No Mind