Are you an Indigenous person looking to read Indigenous literature with Indigenous friends? We have started a book club just for you! Recognizing that Indigenous folks often do not join book clubs, we wanted to create a space that caters to this specific demographic. Furthermore, we are mostly reading books that are moving and uplifting – we recognize that as Indigenous people we have enough trauma surviving everyday racism, we don’t need to read about it as well.
If you’re not Indigenous but still interested in joining a book club, don’t worry, there are still lots of options available to you – check our website for details on the many book clubs hosted by the Thunder Bay Public Library. You can also start your own book club by checking out a Book Club in a Bag which comes with ten copies of the book plus a discussion guide.
But if you are an Indigenous person looking to join a book club, then you’ll be interested to know we’ve launched a new program that we’re calling “NDN Book Club”. We started in July with Tenille Campbell’s collection of poetry called #IndianLovePoems. Campbell is a Métis/Dene author and scholar from Saskatchewan. This book of poetry is a hilarious and pointed commentary on the realities of Indigenous love, sex, dating, and kinship. For many Indigenous millennials, Campbell’s work is one of the few texts where their lived experience is so honestly reflected. It will soon be made available for any library patron to check out through KitKeeper. See our website or call us for details.
This month we’re reading Islands of Decolonial Love by Leanne Simpson. It’s a collection of short stories, songs, and poems that reflect the realities of Indigenous love and kinship, with an emphasis on the language and the land. This creative work by Simpson is a moving collection that rings true for many Indigenous people figuring out relationships while living under a settler-colonial state.
In September we will be reading the new graphic novel, This Place: 150 Years Retold, created by a number of different Indigenous authors and illustrators. It is a collection of stories about Indigenous survival under colonialism – something we continue to do!
Come October we will read Nîtisânak by Lindsay Nixon. This is a really moving memoir about growing up as queer and Cree in the prairies. It is a raw, and sometimes vulgar commentary on Indigeneity, sexuality, gender, and land. It’s another text that may have millennial Indigenous folks finally seeing themselves represented in a book.
In November we will Moccasin Square Gardens by Richard Van Camp – an author that never disappoints!
In December we will read Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice. It’ll be great to read from a local author.
To join this book club, you must register online through our calendar. Space is limited so please register early.
Hope to see you there!
Samantha Martin-Bird – http://www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!