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Patti Laboucane-Benson is the author of the fantastic and moving graphic novel “The Outside Circle”, our pick for the Indigenous Book Club this year. It’s based on her work and research on reconciliation and healing with incarcerated Indigenous men. It tells the tale of two brothers, Pete and Jake, who are trying to escape from violence, drug abuse and addiction. Pete is part of a local gang and is jailed for killing his mother’s boyfriend. While waiting for his older brother to return from jail, Jake almost falls prey to the same cycle of violence and hopelessness Pete was caught inside. It seems like there’s no future for the brothers with everything stacked against them, but through learning about the colonial past, and his own family history, Pete overcomes many of the obstacles he couldn’t face initially, including being a better role model for Jake.

To learn more about Patti Laboucane-Benson and the work she does with healing centres in Alberta:

and for some background about “The Outside Circle


Did you know we are going to have online book chats to discuss The Outside Circle? Come and join us on:

·         Monday, June 12 at 12:00 p.m. with Vera Wabegijig, a nishnaabe poet, blogger, and anishnaabe language enthusiast.

·         Tuesday, June 13 at 7:15 pm with Patti LaBoucane-Benson, author of The Outside Circle.


We also have a contest!!

Which graphic novel by an Indigenous author have you read? What did you like best about it?

Comment below or on OPL’s Facebook page, by answering the above question, and get a chance to win two tickets to the Buffy Sainte-Marie concert at the National Arts Centre on Monday, July 3.

Good luck!

Contest details :

  • To comment on the blog post, you must be logged in with your Library card.
  • The winner will be announced on Friday, June 16 on the OPL Staff Blog.
  • Submissions will be accepted until Wednesday June 14 at 11:00 p.m.  
  • A participant’s name will be included in the draw a maximum of eight (8) times
  • No purchase necessary
  • OPL does not sell nor give out personal information
  • The chances of winning depend on the number of entries
  • If you win, you may be required to answer a skill-testing question
  • A valid OPL card is required to collect the prize
  • The winner’s signature may be required to collect the prize
  • For more information about OPL contest rules, please visit


I have read Moonshot (edited by Hope Nicholson), which is a collection of short stories by indigenous writers. I liked that this book incorporated visual and literary depictions of a variety of diverse indigenous experiences, both in Canada and the US.