My Conversations With Canadians by Lee Maracle

Lee Maracle is a Sto:lo author and poet that, in my opinion, all Canadians -and all people really - should read. This book derives from a question Maracle was asked when she was on her first book tour. Not having an answer at the time, she has now had time to reflect on the questions she often hears while touring Canada.

In these essays, Maracle doesn't answer questions, but rather, gives us her reflections in her frank honest way, using her experiences and story telling. She does not shy away from the hot topics around identity, marginalization, appropriation, the misnomer of reconciliation, colonialism and genocide to name a few.

Lee Maracle is direct when she discusses Canada and the treaties, how first nations people are controlled and not protected, the national stereotypical images of indigenous people, and the misconception that Canada is better than the USA in regard to racism and prejudice.

I love how Maracle talks about the importance of oratory and the spoken word. It's obvious expressing art is a part of her very essence. In these essays she talks about the importance of culture, ceremony, dance, song, and words. Her concept of her word art is fantastic and something we can all learn from. She reaffirmed for me the importance of mythology and not dismissing it as not having truth and the essential change that needs to take place of Canadians not thinking we are the centre of all things, especially when it comes to our earth.

I learned a lot from these essays, the importance of including indigenous knowledge working with science and not dismissing it as having no merit. These essays also highlighted for me the struggles many First Nations people have being and/or feeling Canadian and feeling that they belong. No wonder, when our use of language talks about First Nations as possessions. Our First Nations, Our Indigenous Peoples. I will be more aware of this myself now. There is something in these essays that I think all people can learn from.

The audio book narrator, Marysia Bucholc did a great job. Very clear and good timing. I'm not sure what Marysia's background is. I would hope in this case, that a Turtle Islander would be chosen to narrate something like this. Perhaps that is the case.

I will definitely be checking out anything Lee Maracle puts out. We need her wisdom.

Thank you to NetGalley and ECW Press Audio for the free audio book in exchange for an honest review.

Bookworm Rating: 🐛🐛🐛🐛🐛

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