Nikan Rebuilt Reading List

Nikan Rebuilt required extensive research. I had a very basic understanding of the Indian Act, colonization, and Canada's Residential Schools. Below is a selection of the books, both fiction and non-fiction, and other media that I read during the planning and writing stages of this book to better inform myself. I'll be honest, my outrage for the wrongs we have done grew in direct proportion to my research. My world view will never be the same because of it.

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Price Paid by Bev Sellars

This book was hands down the most informative book I read. Written by Bev Sellars, chief of the Xat'sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake, BC for more than twenty years.

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They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School by Bev Sellars

In this full length memoir, Bev Sellars explains her first hand experience at a church-run residential school. These schools were creative to force First Nations children to "assimilate" into "western culture". This was an often brutal and traumatic experience.

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The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog (And Other Stories From A Child Psychiatrist's Notebook) by Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., and Maia Szalavitz

All of the Preload men grew up in care, and the inspiration for how they all ended up there came from this book. You might recognize Jordan's story for the title case. But also Jenny's back story came from this book too.

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In This Together: Fifteen Stories of Truth and Reconciliation compiled by Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail

What I took away from this book, was that no matter how well meaning and well-intentioned actions are, they can still do untold hurt. Becoming aware of, and exploring, personal biases is a crucial stage on the path to reconciliation.

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Rose's Run by Dawn Dumont

As part of my research, I also read the works of First Nations authors. This fantastic book by Dawn Dumont was my absolute favorite. It stars Rose Okanese who is abandoned by her rock star husband. To find herself again, she decides to run the reserve's marathon. It was wonderfully written, and Rose is a complete triumph!


Other resources:

Non- Fiction:
Strong At The Broken Places - Linda Sanford
First Nations in the Twenty-First Century - James Frideres

That Tongued Belonging - Marilyn Dumont

Other media:
Why Am I Poor? First Nations Child Poverty in Ontario (Paper):

Shameful Neglect: Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada by David MacDonald and Daniel Wilson (Paper)

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (website containing the reports, findings, and testimonies of survivors):

Where Are The Children (Videos of adult survivors testimonies regarding the Residential School System):