Anishinaabe journalist and acclaimed author Tanya Talaga will tackle Canada’s reckoning with residential schools in a new nonfiction book publishing in 2023, part of a three-book deal with HarperCollins Canada.
“Every Indigenous family is touched by the trauma of the ‘schools,’” Talaga said in a statement.
The upcoming book, currently untitled, will explore why the discovery of unmarked graves on residential school sites across the country has finally resonated with people in Canada and across the world, according to the publisher.
“Those places did the opposite of nurturing and educating. They tormented and tortured. Canada hoped the world wouldn’t notice – but it has,” Talaga said. “All of our communities, our families, know the stories of the lost, those stolen from us. It is time the children are honoured and their voices heard.”
Currently a columnist at The Globe and Mail, Talaga was a journalist at The Toronto Star for more than 20 years, covering everything from health to education, investigations and Queen’s Park. She has been nominated five times for the Michener Award in public service journalism, was named 2017−18 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy and holds three honorary doctorates.
“The news cycle comes and goes but we do not forget,” Talaga tweeted following the announcement of her deal with the Canadian publisher.
Talaga’s first book, Seven Fallen Feathers, was “a book to be justly infuriated by” as reviewed by The Globe. Investigating the deaths of seven Indigenous teenagers living in Thunder Bay, Talaga connects the cases to systemic issues of federal funding and residential schools. The national bestseller won the RBC Taylor Prize, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, and the First Nation Communities Read Award: Young Adult/Adult. The book was also a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize and the B.C. National Award for Nonfiction.
Her second book was also a national bestseller. All Our Relations: Finding The Path Forward, which explores the alarming rise of youth suicide in Indigenous communities, was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize and a finalist for the British Academy’s Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding.
“Tanya is a pre-eminent Indigenous voice writing in Canada today,” said HarperCollins Canada’s senior vice-president and executive publisher Iris Tupholme in a statement.
“A household name, she can elevate these much-needed conversations to a national audience at the very moment we are facing a tipping point when it comes to Indigenous issues and history in Canada,” Tupholme said. “We see these books as ones of vital importance to forging new relationships in this fractured nation.”
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