Speaking our truth A journey of reconciliation

Monique Gray Smith, 1968-

Book - 2017

"This nonfiction book examines how we can foster reconciliation with Indigenous people at individual, family, community and national levels"--

Saved in:

Children's Room Show me where

j971/Gray Smith
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room j971/Gray Smith Checked In
Victoria, British Columbia : Orca Book Publishers 2017.
Main Author
Monique Gray Smith, 1968- (author)
Physical Description
159 pages : illustrations, color map ; 24 cm
Issued also in electronic formats
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • 1. Welcome to the Journey
  • Why Do We Need This Journey?
  • Preparing for the Journey
  • Monique's Journey
  • Powerful Medicine
  • The Seven Sacred Teachings
  • 2. Honesty: Where Have We Come From?
  • Knowing the Truth
  • Pre-Contact
  • The Historical Journey
  • The Residential Schools
  • The Children Who Never Came Home
  • Effects on Families
  • Métis Children
  • Inuit Children
  • Ripple Effect
  • Speaking Out
  • 3. Love: Where Do We Stand Today?
  • What Does Reconciliation Mean?
  • The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement
  • Apology
  • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • The National TRC Events
  • Honourary Witnesses
  • Calls to Action
  • Walk for Reconciliation
  • Barriers to Justice
  • In the End... or Perhaps the Beginning
  • Love
  • 4. Kindness and Reciprocity: Where Do We Go From Here?
  • Building Bridges
  • Talking Reconciliation
  • Being an Ally
  • What Can You Do?
  • Messages to Inspire You on Your Journey
  • Reconciliation Projects and Initiatives
  • Until Our Paths Cross Again
  • Acknowledgments
  • Online Resources
  • Reading List
  • Glossary
  • List of Residential Schools
  • Index
Review by Booklist Review

Delving into nonfiction, Smith invites middle-grade readers to accompany her on what she calls a journey of reconciliation through Canada's history. The book's title is distilled from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC, 2010-15), and the text aims to fill the gap in school curriculum about Canada's First Nations Peoples, with a focus on the residential schools. Smith's narrative tone is inviting and friendly, often addressing the reader directly as she takes them from the earliest moments of colonial contact, through the Indian Act of 1894, traumatic residential school experiences, forced sterilization, Indigenous resistance, the 94 Calls to Action of the TRC, and the ways today's children can be allies and actors in the ongoing process of reconciliation and anti-oppression. Maps, photo illustrations, sidebars, glossaries, personal narratives from residential-school survivors, teachings from Elders, quotes, and extracts from the TRC report provide important text features and add texture. Readers from south of the Canadian border might be inspired to start asking questions about their own history.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Smith (My Heart Fills with Happiness) thoroughly and compassionately examines the history and traumatic aftereffects of Canada's residential schools, the longest-running of which only closed in 1996. The forced relocation of indigenous children into these schools over a period of more than 160 years-separating them from their families and culture, and frequently subjecting them to harsh punishments, as well as physical and sexual abuse-is a subject that needs to be faced head-on, Smith explains: "It is critical for us as a country to tell his truth and for you as a young citizen to know this history." She assumes readers are coming to the book without prior knowledge, and she clearly describes the history behind the schooling system and how its abuses came to light while defining relevant terms (assimilation, Indian agent, systemic racism, etc.). Period photographs and accounts from living survivors of the schools make a gripping narrative all the more real, and reader-directed questions appear frequently in sidebars. Smith informs without overwhelming or sugarcoating, and she emphasizes the power readers themselves possess: "I hope you see that we have a beautiful opportunity for profound change." Ages 9-13. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

Gr 4-7-A sensitive and extensive insight into the experiences of Indigenous people in Canada. Smith traces the historical events, movements, and laws affecting people of the First Nations and connects this history to the impact still resonating generations later. The book largely addresses the laws that forcibly removed Indigenous children from their families and sent them to residential schools in an attempt to "civilize" them. Replete with primary sources, including photos and personal accounts from those who lived in the residential schools, Smith tackles difficult and complex conversations with straightforwardness and compassion. These topics include institutionalized racism, forced sterilization, and the destruction of Indigenous cultures. Despite the somber topic, Smith consistently empowers readers to be agents of change and provides specific suggestions to take action. Smith wrote this book in the second person, which creates a uniquely personal experience wherein readers are immersed in the conversation. In addition, questions for reflection are peppered throughout, making the work very accessible for classroom use. Though Smith does not specifically address U.S. history, many of the laws and actions described in Canada have been and are mirrored in the United States. The thorough back matter also makes this volume great for research. For older readers, this work pairs nicely with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States. VERDICT Purchase this vibrant, must-have title to prompt critical thinking and open discussions.-Paige Rowse, Needham High School, MA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

A practical guide to the reconciliation process is focused on Canada's historical relations with and treatment of its Indigenous Peoples, including substantial information on residential schools. Archival and contemporary photos illustrate the text. "Reflections" questions throughout encourage active reader participation; the unique book could also spur research about these issues as they relate to the United States. Reading list, websites. Glos., ind. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Smith offers readers a sojourn through Canadian history chronicling the residential school experience through the stories of the survivors. For over 150 years, thousands of indigenous children were forcibly taken by Canadian government officials and provided with an education that would eradicate the cultural identities of indigenous peoples. Children in these residential schools were malnourished, endured physical and sexual abuse, and were forbidden to speak their languages or practice their own spirituality. Many died. Following a formal apology from the Canadian government in 2008, survivors of this experience were allowed for the first time to publicly voice their stories for official documentation. In vignettes threaded throughout, individual survivors reflect on the impact that this cultural genocide had on their individual lives and within their communities. Generations of trauma led to destructive patterns of behavior, mental illness, and addictions. Smith (of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish heritage) includes messages of resilience from community leaders and elders and devotes an entire chapter to interviews with young people as they express how important it is for them to contribute to the healing of their communities. One survivor says, "Reconciliation is asking myself who my Ancestors were the day before they went to residential school, then doing everything I can to return to that." Smith's book is an effort that returns, offering diverse voices that invite the world into the reconciliation experience. Absolutely necessary. (Nonfiction. 10-16) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.