Seven Fallen Feathers Book Review Racism is a problem that has plagued Indigenous people since colonization. Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga is a non-fiction book covering the tragic deaths of seven Indigenous high school students in Thunder Bay, Canada. Talaga covers the crisis that took place in Northern Ontario between 2000-2011 and how it relates to the big picture problem that is historical mistreatment and ongoing neglect towards Indigenous communities. The author is an award winning Canadian journalist and author, having mixed Indigenous and Polish heritage, she concentrates much of her work on Indigenous people and problems in Canada. This book is an important read for any Canadian …show more content…
Talaga begins with a brief history of the area of Thunder Bay to help the reader understand the setting of the book, where she describes the region as a once thriving gathering and trading place for Indigenous people that developed into the racially divided city presently there today. Talaga (2017) states that “Thunder Bay has always been a city with two faces. The Port Arthur side is the white face and the Fort William side is the red face.” (p. 3), and she illustrates the clear separation between the Indigenous and white people and details the disparity of living conditions. Talaga continues by giving an individual look into each of the students’ lives and the events that led up to their disappearances, allowing the reader to get to know the youth on a more personal level before analyzing the group as a whole. Inequity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people is highlighted throughout the book, where Talaga describes the discrimination that happened to the youth before and after death as well as the historical mistreatment of Indigenous people in Canada. The deaths of the youth spawned an inquest and led to numerous recommendations to ensure the safety of Indigenous students in the future, but many problems still exist and Talaga draws parallels in the book …show more content…
While telling the story of each of the seven deceased, there was a sense of repetitiveness from that carried from one story to the next. For instance, each story had a predictable ending which focused around the inequity and racism that the students and their families experienced from the coroner and justice system leaving the book feeling very linear at times. Another issue with the writing style was that it sometimes difficult to follow. When telling the stories of the students, occasionally Talaga adds in historical information or statistics and then continues with the story. This style of writing provides background information to the story but sometimes felt clunky, disconnecting some ideas and may require rereading to understand the story. In particular, the chapter about Paul Panacheese begins with a brief history of where he grew up and his family, from the perspective of Maryanne Panacheese. We are briefly introduced to Paul and learn that he was an artist, Talaga (2017) states that “Paul’s art also hangs on the wall” (p. 159), before the author tells us the story of Maryanne’s childhood and how her sister went missing and Talaga (2017) states she “has a secret fear that Sarah was a victim of notorious serial killer Robert Pickton” (p. 162), Talaga then writes about the Robert Pickton connection and
The voices of Indigenous children are unheard and purposely ignored. This is portrayed through the literature of Birdie by Tracey Lindberg and Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese. Despite receiving apologies from Prime Ministers Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau, the government system to protect First Nations families appears to have detrimental effects on the native children. This is proven by young children turning to drugs in order to satisfy their growing pain, by family members who abuse their kids because of alcohol addictions, and the increasing discriminatory behaviour by surrounding communities. To begin with, young children are turning to drugs in order to satisfy their growing pain.
The chapter vividly portrays the silencing of Indigenous voices, leaving these students feeling alone and without agency. The separation from their culture and identity further intensified the sense of dislocation and isolation experienced by Indigenous children in residential schools. Therefore, through this chapter, Downie highlights the need for awareness and understanding of the trauma experienced by Indigenous children, which has long-lasting effects, ultimately leading to the importance of reconciliation with
Critical Summary #3: First Nations Perspectives In Chapter eight of Byron Williston’s Environmental Ethics for Canadians First Nation’s perspectives are explored. The case study titled “Language, Land and the Residential Schools” begins by speaking of a public apology from former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He apologizes for the treatment of “Indians” in “Indian Residential Schools”. He highlights the initial agenda of these schools as he says that the “school system [was] to remove and isolate [Aboriginal] children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them[…]” (Williston 244).
The voices of Indigenous children are unheard and purposely ignored. This is portrayed through the literature of Birdie by Tracey Lindberg and Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese. Despite both apologies from Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau, the government system to protect First Nations children appears to have detrimental effects on the life of a child. This is proven by young children turning to drugs in order to satisfy their growing pain, family members who abuse their children because they consume high amounts of alcohol, which has a negative impact on the child, and discriminatory behaviour by surrounding communities. To begin with, young children turning to drugs in order to satisfy their growing pain.
Tracey Lindberg’s novel Birdie is narratively constructed in a contorting and poetic manner yet illustrates the seriousness of violence experience by Indigenous females. The novel is about a young Cree woman Bernice Meetoos (Birdie) recalling her devasting past and visionary journey to places she has lived and the search for home and family. Lindberg captures Bernice’s internal therapeutic journey to recover from childhood traumas of incest, sexual abuse, and social dysfunctions. She also presents Bernice’s self-determination to achieve a standard of good health and well-being. The narrative presents Bernice for the most part lying in bed and reflecting on her dark life in the form of dreams.
The history of Residential Schools is impossible, in the sense that it is incomplete and only recently recorded. Many of the 150 000 Inuit, Metis, and First Nations who were forced into these assimilatory schools have already died, meaning their experiences are lost. Only a fraction of the former students’ stories will be
Native Americans in Canadian society are constantly fighting an uphill battle. After having their identity taken away in Residential Schools. The backlash of the Residential Schools haunts them today with Native American people struggling in today 's society. Native Americans make up five percent of the Canadian population, yet nearly a quarter of the murder victims. The haunting memories of Residential Schools haunt many Native Americans to this day.
Imagine being ripped apart from family members, culture, tradition, and labelled a savage that needs to be educated. Imagine constantly facing punishment at school for being one’s self. Unfortunately, these events were faced head on for many First Nations people living in Canada in the late 20th century. These First Nations people were the victims of an extensive school system set up by the government to eradicate Aboriginal culture across Canada and to assimilate them into what was considered a mainstream society.
The indigenous people are literally crashing into the buildings produced by the colonizing culture, “Look out! Bob shouts. There are Indians flying into the skyscrapers and falling on the sidewalk.” (King 63) and it adequately represents the lack of adaptability of the Native Canadians. Thomas King taps again into the effects of colonialism and notions the indigenous people as uneducated and an untamed species.
In recent years, Canada has built a reputation for its diverse and accepting society, however, the racist and violent treatment towards different ethnic groups, specifically Indigenous communities, makes up a significant part of the country's history and continues to have an effect on today’s society. The novel, Indian Horse, written by Richard Wagamese, strives to prove how individuals who encounter racial abuse and stereotypes will face hardships in an attempt to live to their full potential. This point is exhibited through Saul’s harsh experience in Residential School, his hockey journey, and alcoholism struggle. SUBTOPIC: The first example of how racism and racial stereotypes prevent an individual from reaching their full potential
Indigenous people are incarcerated at much higher rates than non-Indigenous in Canada and are incarcerated for longer periods of time (Cook & Roesh, 2012, p.222). Canadians have put Indigenous communities through much heartache and pain. With the colonization of Indigenous people to residential schools, Canadians continue to stigmatize and treat Indigenous people poorly. Indigenous people are more likely to suffer from drug abuse using needles because of the intergenerational trauma suffered through their parents attending residential schools in Canada (Bombay, Matheson, & Anisman, 2014, p. 327). This puts them at a higher criminal risk than others because of what they have been subjected to.
Introduction The little community of Attawapiskat, Ontario, Canada has been and is currently facing an immense loss due to a high amount of youth suicides. The community has been under a state of emergency since April 2016 after many of the community’s youth have tried to or succeed at committing suicide. These suicides have been the product of colonialism and intergenerational trauma from the generations that came before them. The devastation in the community can teach Child and Youth Care practitioners how to put into action programs that build youth’s strengths and resilience as well as overcome any negative factor that have been created during this epidemic.
Residential Schools was an enormous lengthening event in our history. Residential schools were to assimilate and integrate white people’s viewpoints and values to First Nations children. The schools were ran by white nuns and white priests to get rid of the “inner Indian” in the children. In residential schools, the children suffered immensely from physical, emotional, sexual and spiritual abuse. Although the many tragedies, language was a huge loss by the First Nations children.
The Ripple Effect of Ignorance - Yin Chin Maracle chooses to display the ripple effect of racism by shedding light on the unjust treatment of the First Nations and Chinese people by writing a story of a First Nation who grew up in a mixed neighborhood that is flooded with prejudice and stereotypes. Maracle further challenges the recurring stereotypes of societal views of minority groups by addressing them through the speaker’s point of view. While sounding like a stereotypical Chinese name or word, the title “Yin Chin” stems from the related sounding word Injun, a way to describe a stereotypical First Nations man or woman who is a “savage warrior” (Churchill 1998). The word dates back to the early settlement of English colonists as a way
I particularly agreed with the authors’ argument about blending cultural and academic knowledge (McKinley & Brayboy, 2005, p. 435). I think it is institution’s responsibility to respect their cultural knowledge but also provide appropriate academic knowledge, relative to Indigenous students to be able to actively engage in reciprocal learning with their cultural knowledge, which, then, adds value to their survivance practice. I find that this piece opened up a new way of looking at the challenges which Indigenous students encounter and the ways to move forward with the situation through changing the perception of education not only from Indigenous students, but also from the perspectives of non-Aboriginal members in institutions by providing a way to