Seven fallen feathers Racism, death, and hard truths in a northern city

Tanya Talaga

Book - 2017

"Over the span of ten years, seven high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave their reserve because there was no high school there for them to attend. Award-winning journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this northern city that has come to manifest, and struggle with, human rights violations past and present against aboriginal communities."--

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Location Call Number   Status
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Subjects
Published
[Toronto] : Anansi 2017.
Language
English
Physical Description
361 pages : maps ; 22 cm
Awards
Winner of the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize.
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781487002268
1487002262
Main Author
Tanya Talaga (author)
  • Prologue
  • Notes from a blind man
  • Why Chanie ran
  • When the wolf comes
  • Hurting from the before
  • The hollowness of not knowing
  • We speak for the dead to protect the living
  • Brothers
  • River, give me my son back
  • Less than worthy victims
  • Seven fallen feathers
  • Epilogue.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Talaga, a veteran investigative reporter for the Toronto Star, has crafted an urgent and unshakable portrait of the horrors faced by indigenous teens going to school in Thunder Bay, Ontario, far from their homes and families. Since the early twentieth century, indigenous children living on Native reservations in northwestern Ontario have lacked access to a quality education. A child's best shot at a bright future is to move away from home and attend school in one of the bigger nearby cities, like Thunder Bay. This often means fleeing the nest and living independently at only 13 or 14 years old. Aside from the premature launch, indigenous teenagers face a myriad of hardships while attending big-city high schools—rampant racism, extreme underage alcohol and substance abuse, along with physical and sexual violence. Talaga chronicles seven untimely and largely unsolved deaths that have taken place among Native Thunder Bay students since the new millennium. Seven families lost children too soon, and seven families were denied justice by police, coroners, and school administrators. Talaga's incisive research and breathtaking storytelling could bring this community one step closer to the healing it deserves. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Journalist Talaga's debut, about the deaths of seven young indigenous people between 2000 and 2011 in Thunder Bay, Ont., is a powerful examination and critique of present and past Canadian policies on indigenous peoples. The book is broken into sections, each one introducing readers to a promising indigenous youth who was forced to move hundreds of kilometers from a northern community to Thunder Bay in order to complete an education. Instead of finding opportunities, these young people found racism, indifference, violence, and finally death. Many questions about each death remain unanswered, but each one was immediately deemed accidental, some noted as such by the local police even before a coroner had a chance to conduct an autopsy. Talaga's research is meticulous and her journalistic style is crisp and uncompromising. She brings each story to life, skillfully weaving the stories of the youths' lives, deaths, and families together with sharp analysis. She connects each death to neocolonial policies and institutional racism in all levels of governments, as well as the legacy of Canada's infamously abusive residential schools. The book is heartbreaking and infuriating, both an important testament to the need for change and a call to action. (Nov.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Exposes the civil rights violations against First Nations people in Thunder Bay, Ontario and how this city has come to represent the troubling relationship between Native Americans and the Canadian government.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Over the span of ten years, seven high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave their reserve because there was no high school there for them to attend. Award-winning journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this northern city that has come to manifest, and struggle with, human rights violations past and present against aboriginal communities."

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Tanya Talaga is an award-winning journalist. She won a National Newspaper Award as part of a year-long team project on the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh and also was a part of the team nominated for a National Newspaper Award for their series of stories on murdered and missing indigenous women and girls.Tanya was the first journalist to cover the story of the seven missing Aboriginal kids in Thunder Bay.Recently, indigenous issues have come to the fore in the U.S. media, with the 2016 Native American protest against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.Perfect for the institutional market, as well as for those interested in Indigenous rights.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The shocking true story of seven young Indigenous students who were found dead in a northern Ontario city over the span of seven years.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

The groundbreaking and multiple award-winning national bestseller work about systemic racism, education, the failure of the policing and justice systems, and Indigenous rights by Tanya Talaga.Over the span of eleven years, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. They were hundreds of kilometres away from their families, forced to leave home because there was no adequate high school on their reserves. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning author Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.