Indigenous Book Review: Sugar Falls & #NotYourPrincess

27/11/2017

Posted on behalf of Carlingwood Library's Teen Advisory Group member and Teen Blogger in Residence Bella Crysler  

This month I’ve decided to take some time to learn more about Canada’s history through investigating residential schools and the mistreatment of our indigenous peoples that still exists today. I chose to read Sugar Falls and #NotYourPrincess, two incredible and eye opening books available at the Ottawa Public Library.

 

Sugar Falls is a graphic novel by David Alexander Robertson and Scott B. Henderson. It tells the heartbreaking, yet deeply hopeful, true story of a woman's experience in residential schools. Despite being taught about residential schools on numerous occasions through my own school, the story this graphic novel told was still able to shock me. The cruelty children in residential schools were forced to withstand is truly jaw dropping, and I don’t think hearing about it will ever cease to send a shiver down my spine. The truths this novel is able to portray so clearly through the use of illustrations is amazing, and I would encourage anyone and everyone to read it. Knowledge about our mistakes of the past is crucial to building a better future for every member of Canada, and this book is a fantastic way to educate yourself on the effects of residential schools.

 

 

 

 

The second book I read was #NotYourPrincess by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale. A collection of poetry, art, interviews, comic strips and quotes, this book moved me to tears. Compiled from the works of over 50 contemporary artists, each page is absolutely beautiful. Created by a small sample of the fierce and unapologetic indigenous women of the world, #NotYourPrincess works to shatter the false stereotypes we still make the mistake of believing today. The books deals with how indigenous women are capable of anything if they rise above the obstacles history has set for them, and lift each other up. #NotYourPrincess is a book created with so much fire and strength that you can feel it in your hands as you flip the pages. By addressing the wrongs of the past, this book is a call for those ready to create a better future.

 

 

 

I am only 16, and I am heavily invested in the future of Canada. This is my home, and this is a place that so many should have the undisputed right to call home as well. These two books were one way that I am choosing to equip myself with the knowledge I need to build a better Canada. With the experience of reading these works in my toolbelt, I feel more ready than ever to take the next steps in supporting the movement of truth and reconciliation. These tragic truths are hard to face, but we must if we wish to make Canada as great as it has the potential to be.

 

Image: #NotYourPrincess

#NotYourPrincess

Voices of Native American Women
Image: Sugar Falls

Sugar Falls

A Residential School Story
By Robertson, David
Image: Sugar Falls

Sugar Falls

A Residential School Story
By Robertson, David

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