- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: HighWater Press (Sept. 9 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1553796802
- ISBN-13: 978-1553796800
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 522 g
- Average Customer Review: 52 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,488 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit issues in Canada Paperback – Sep 9 2016
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Chelsea Vowel presents a counternarrative to the foundational, historical, and living myths most Canadians grew up believing. She punctures the bloated tropes that have frozen Indigenous peoples in time, often to the vanishing point. Reading Indigenous Writes, you feel that you are having a conversation over coffee with a super-smart friend, someone who refuses to simplify, who chooses to amplify, who is unafraid to kick against the darkness. Branding Indigenous Writes as required reading would make it sound like literary All-Bran. It is not, and far from it. What this book really is, is medicine.
Shelagh Rogers, O.C., Broadcast Journalist, TRC Honorary Witness"
About the Author
Chelsea Vowel is Métis from manitow-sâkahikan (Lac Ste. Anne) Alberta where she and her family currently reside. She has a BEd and LLB and is mother to three girls, step-mother of two more.
Chelsea is a public intellectual, writer and educator whose work intersects language, gender, Métis self-determination and resurgence. She has worked directly with First Nations researching self-government, participating in constitutional drafting and engaging in specific land claim negotiation settlements and valuation of claims over a 200 year period. She is passionate about creating programs and materials that enable Indigenous languages to thrive, not merely survive.
Most recently an educator in Québec, she developed and delivered programs to Inuit youth in a restorative justice program. She is a heavily cited and internationally respected commentator on Indigenous-State relations and dedicates much of her time to mentoring other young activists.
Chelsea blogs at apihtawikosisan.com and makes legendary bannock.
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I came across this book in course reading for a class for my Master’s degree and what I think is so remarkable about this book is that you can come to it from so many entry points and find it has use and meaning to your work. Often times I feel like books on issues like Indigeneity might be unwieldy and highly academic and this may prevent people who are not in the academy or who are younger from accessing these ideas. What Chelsea Vowel seems to be presenting in this work is a much more accessible entry point to further readings and understandings.
I appreciated that the book debunks a lot of settler myths about Aboriginal people with a compassionate heart and Vowel manages to delicately balance the task of walking her readers through a process of checking their privilege without alienating them from the work itself. This is a truly exceptional accomplishment that is not to be underestimated when one considers the pervasive logics at play within settler colonialism.
Vowel simultaneously challenges the reader to interrogate their own view points and where the thinking they are informed by is coming from. Throughout this process the reader is invited into better understandings and provided with information coupled with context that sets the stage for further learning. I have found it to be the perfect contextual grounding for the readings I have subsequently completed for the course that contain more academic ideologies and challenging constructs.
I fully intend to use this resource in my future teaching and books like this were exactly the kind of resource and educational experience I was hoping I would be exposed to when I began my Master’s degree. Even when I teach drama classes I can use some of the pages of this book to provide context for plays that we use that discuss residential schools or in English class when we study texts that are set in Indigenous communities.
Reconciliation can't happen without first acknowledging and owning the truth of how Canada came to be what it is today.
This book should be required as school reading in high schools across Canada as far as I am concerned.
I would recommend this book to everyone.
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