Up Ghost River is the memoir of Edmund Metatawabin, written as a first hand account of life in northern Canada as an aboriginal young person. His life takes a tumble into the hell of St. Annes, a notoriously violent residential school, when the town officials press his family to make him go. He leaves behind a loving family and a life steeped in native tradition and self-sufficiency. It is a deeply personal account and will shake your beliefs in a fair and just Canada.
A comprehensive review with interviews from the CBC. The review from The National Post.
The Right Honourable Paul Martin recommends the book:
“Moving documentation, recollected tragedy and personal triumph, this book is a necessary first-hand account of being First Nations in contemporary Canada. From the atrocities of residential schools, to the present-day policy challenges, Up Ghost River will open your eyes to the all-too-recent history of Canada’s First Peoples, through the experiences of a resilient individual and his family.”
Cheryl Strayed recounts her journey down the Pacific Crest Trail.
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
A moving memoir from Rae Spoon, a talented singer/songwriter whom I first heard sing in the documentary, My Prairie Home (available for rent at NFB). The memoir is full of intriguing and sometimes heart breaking life memories forged in a turbulent childhood of strict religion and a threatening father figure. The story is intimately connected to the broader issues of gender in Canadian society and the tyranny of religion.