We are celebrating and recognizing the tremendous history, heritage and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. We also acknowledge the inequalities and injustices Indigenous people face every day.
Our hearts ache for the thousands of lives lost and stolen across the country.
We encourage our family, friends, staff, and fellow Canadians to educate ourselves about the land we live on, the history of the Indigenous Peoples who cared for it, and the issues facing Indigenous Peoples in our communities. Let’s become a country worth celebrating.
Here is a selection of moving stories by Indigenous indie authors.
by Elaine Alec
Indigenous Peoples have always carried the knowledge necessary to heal. When our people heal, our families heal, our communities heal and our land will heal. You cannot have one without the other.
These stories are teachings, prophecy, and protocols shared throughout the years by elders, language speakers, medicine people, and helpers. They have been the foundation to individual healing and learning self-love. They teach us how to make good decisions for ourselves and for all other aspects in our lives.
When our people were young, they were sent on the land to gather as much experience and knowledge as they could, and when they returned, they would contribute what they learned.
I am Syilx and Secwepemc and although many of my teachings come from this place, they also intertwine with indigenous knowledge shared through ceremony from many other nations.
People from all backgrounds have embraced concepts from other parts of the world that promote self-love, healing, and well-being through practices of discipline and meditation.
Very little has been shared about indigenous systems and how it promotes self-love and approach to healing.
The Good, the Bad and the Innocent: The Tragic Reality Behind Residential Schools, an Albert Etzerza Story
by Albert Etzerza and Rose Tashoots
(Amazon bestseller in three categories – #2 History of First Nations in Canada, #2 in Canada Biographies, #2 First Nations in Canada
This book is about the life and struggle of a residential school survivor.
Residential schools were not an experience anyone would want to go through. In this book, you will get to read the story of one Native out of thousands at residential schools who overcame a hard life and racist times, who always got things done his own way, and from day one had to work hard.
A system that was made to help and show love was not only the opposite, but no human should have to go through what he did. He stood up and others followed. He was the first Native to take the Church and government to court for the schools.
by Karen Chaboyer
Karen longed for acceptance, validation and love, but had no ability to form healthy, meaningful relationships. Born into a large family already suffering the effects of two generations of residential school, and surviving her own nine years at St. Margaret Indian Residential School, Karen (like everyone she knew) had been systematically stripped of her dignity, identity, language, culture, family and community support systems.
Not wanting to be alone as an adult, Karen tolerated unhealthy relationships with family and partners. Still, she was coping. But after suffering further trauma, Karen turned to alcohol and other addictions to numb her pain.
Eventually, Karen found the strength to reach out for help. She learned to grieve through layers of shame and was finally able to embrace her identity. Karen also discovered what has long been known in her culture – the healing power of sharing your story. Karen would now like to share this book, her story, with you.
by Wendy Hill
In this remarkable book, Wendy Hill shares insight and wisdom about life and death, and everything in between. She tells her story of growing up on a Native community and her spiritual experiences that led her into becoming a healer. These understandings were given to her through dreams from the ancestors. She gives an intimate description of the relationship of each person and the spirit world.
Many people struggle with feeling vulnerable and scared or angry about life circumstances and through the messages it puts a person’s mind at peace about life. Having a peaceful mind is a key ingredient to a healthy life and mind. The majority of people have been given minimum knowledge about how to relate to spirits, their own and a higher power. This book will answer many questions that people have about coincidences, accidents and lessons in daily experiences. Wendy also shares prophecies from different Native people that came through dreams. Overall the book touches everyone in an intimate way about many voids and mysteries about life. She is able to shed light and give meaning to these questions in life.
by Cathy A. Martin, Ed.D.
Dr. Cathy Martin, Ed.D. is a Mi’gmaq woman who was raised and resided most of her life in the Listuguj First Nation. Dr. Martin has a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Dr. Martin has been an elected member of council for three terms for the Listuguj Mi’gmaq Government; two of those terms she was elected Chief Councillor.
Dr. Martin has a wealth of experience interacting at the grassroots level. Her diverse academic and career experiences, have demonstrated her research abilities, facilitation, and co-ordination skills. In addition, to the research skills necessary to obtain a Doctorate in Leadership, Dr. Martin was the main writer/researcher for the development of the First Nations Health Directors Curriculum Manual; which was an eight-module curriculum for Health Directors Association of British Columbia. Dr. Martin has also facilitated, at the grassroots level within her First Nation Community of Listuguj, in the development of a Community Safety and Wellness Accord; and in the grassroots development of domestic violence research and recommendations for a reduction of abuse program in the same community.
Dr. Martin’s future goals include a return to consultation, research, writing and the facilitation of workshops on the short-term; followed by a return to First Nation politics.
by Gerry Cyr
In the summer of 2019, the Deh Cho created winds that were unprecedented and demonstrated once again the power of mother nature and the permanency of father time. Accompany the canoeist as he deals with winds, sandstorms, waves, and cold. Partner with the canoeist as he embarks on a parallel journey of the mind as he explores his thoughts, observations, and conclusions that help him make sense of it all. It is not a journey of inner conflicts, obstacles, struggles, or battles, nor one of defeat; it’s a journey into the world of inner solutions, adaptability, flexibility, and creativity that become tools in dealing with situations that are not only applied to the canoe journey but also to life’s journey.
by Sheila Warì Whitebean
The First Holocaust, An Inherited Duty To Survive will take you into the lives of strong Onkwehonwe women, who through a duty to seven generations ahead, endure very traumatic acts, see unspeakable things, and experience a soul crushing existence, only to find strength within their will to live and through the power of commitment to generations ahead – a duty passed on from former generations. Thank you for taking this journey with me. This is a piece of my oral history written down.