The Edmonton Public Library is hosting the second in its 2021 Speaker Series with journalist and author Tanya Talaga on March 10. The Indigenous writer released her first book, Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City in 2017. In it,Talaga investigates the deaths of seven Indigenous students and puts them in a larger context of Canada’s history. She looks at the students’ lives and deaths, followed by the lack of change in the system as the news of the accidents fades away. Her clinical discussions and observations of the case may feel peculiar to read, but they are even more difficult to ignore.
“If you are conditioned not to care, you are conditioned to indifference, and there is a violence to that indifference,” Talaga says in her second book, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward.
Last year, the best-selling author also began a podcast — Seven Truths — featuring the Seven Grandfather Teachings that guide the Anishinaabe people. The Teachings are: truth, respect, humility, honesty, love, bravery and wisdom. Growing up, Talaga would spend her summers with her mother’s family in Fort William First Nations territory in Northern Ontario connecting with her Anishinaabe heritage. She dedicates one episode to each one of the teachings, where different people share their stories.
Talaga is currently producing Spirit to Soar, a documentary based on her book, Seven Fallen Feathers.
“I don’t want to talk about reconciliation. I want to talk about rights.”
― Tanya Talaga, All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward