Truth and Reconciliation Day honors the memory of Indigenous children who perished in residential schools, the survivors, their families and communities. This day, a call for remembrance and unity, has never been more relevant in a world that feels ever more unpredictable.
Truth and Reconciliation Day embodies the idea that by acknowledging the truths of our past, we can pave the way for a more harmonious future. Let us honor the voices of indigenous communities who have been silenced for too long. It is through their stories that we can truly begin the journey towards healing and reconciliation.
A powerful way to engage with Indigenous perspectives is through literature. Following are 5 exceptional novels by Canadian Indigenous authors that delve into themes of resilience, cultural preservation, identity, and the profound impact of historical events such as the residential school system.
1. Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
- This novel tells the powerful and heartbreaking story of Saul Indian Horse, a young Ojibwe boy who survives the residential school system and finds solace in the game of hockey.
2. Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead
- This novel explores the life of Jonny, a Two-Spirit Indigiqueer young man, as he returns to his home reserve to attend his stepfather’s funeral and confront his past and identity.
3. Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
- This novel offers a powerful portrayal of the lives of five Indigenous children who were taken from their families and placed in residential schools, and the challenges they later faced as adults in the 1960s.
4. Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese
- Another compelling novel by Richard Wagamese that explores the journey of an indigenous father and son as they come to terms with their past and heritage.
5. Motorcycles & Sweetgrass by Drew Hayden Taylor
- A blend of humor and magic realism, this novel tells the story of an Indigenous community and their encounter with a mysterious stranger who arrives on a motorcycle.
These novels collectively provide a rich and diverse perspective on Indigenous experiences and are essential reads for those interested in Canadian Indigenous literature. As we commemorate Truth and Reconciliation Day, let us remember the significance of storytelling and the role it plays in our journey toward healing and reconciliation.
At the Dreamers Writing Farm, we are proud to honor the legacy of Richard Wagamese, an Indigenous Canadian author whose works, including Indian Horse, have profoundly touched hearts and minds. In his honour, we have established the Wagamese Bunkie, a place for readers and writers to reflect and unwind while they experience the natural beauty of the Bruce Peninsula. Enjoy a selection of novels by Richard Wagamese during your stay.