This Place: 150 Years Retold, foreward by Alicia Elliott.
In keeping with my posts about political graphic nonfiction, here is a quote from This Place.
The book is an anthology of 10 stories by 10 or 11 writers and illustrators. Each writer prefaces their story with context, including something about their personal connection to the material. Chelsea Vowel begins her preface to "kitaskinaw 2350" like this.
Dystopian or apocalyptic writing occupies an enormous amount of space in contemporary storytelling and in our social consciousness. We are told that the end is nigh, and that the world (or at least the world as we know it) will be destroyed, and that this is a Bad Thing. We are encouraged to imagine what life could be like during and after this supposedly inevitable destruction, but are steered away from dreaming up alternatives. Indigenous peoples have been living in a post-apocalyptic world since Contact. This entire anthology deals with events post-apocalypse!* * * *
This Place: 150 Years Retold makes an excellent illustrated companion to the Indigenous Canada MOOC. Reading it has inspired me to learn more. Perhaps you will find the same.
You know who I wish would read this book? Paul Bunner, racist speechwriter for Jason Kenney, who called residential schools "a bogus genocide story". I was impressed, but not surprised, that an Indigenous leader reached out to Bunner, determined to find common ground and exchange ideas. I cannot imagine remaining calm and clear-headed speaking with a Holocaust denier.