Education

1309 The object of Indigenous writing

Five Little Indians by Michelle Good Toronto: HarperCollins Canada (Harper Perennial), 2020 $22.99 / 9781443459181 Reviewed by Harper Campbell * Teaching and healing have always been important aspects to Indigenous writing in Canada. Look at any famous Indigenous author, whether that be Pauline Johnson or Richard Wagamese, and you’ll find that teaching and healing are central…
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1282 The reluctant academician

Growing Dumb: An Autobiography of an English Education by Peter Quartermain Montreal and Vancouver: Zat-So Productions, 2021. Printed by Lulu.com. Also available in Vancouver through Massy Books and People’s Co-op Books $37.97 /  9780986759550 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * The most astonishing part of this book is what isn’t there. Oh, there is lots in…
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1237 Tragic legacies of colonialism

ESSAY: Tragic Legacies: The Residential School System in Canada (1876-1998) by Lily Chow * Editor’s note: Today, September 30, 2021, is the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. “The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities,” states a Government of Canada website. “Public commemoration of…
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1208 A multitude of universities

Postsecondary Education in British Columbia: Public Policy and Structural Development, 1960-2015 by Robert Cowin Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019 $34.95 / 9780774838344 Reviewed by Ken Coates * Post-secondary education is a controversial topic in British Columbia. From failed attempts to revive Notre Dame University in Nelson to the decision to open the University of Northern British…
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1100 Trauma, neglect, and erasure

it was never going to be okay by jaye simpson Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2020 $18.95 / 9780889713826 Reviewed by Harper Campbell * it was never going to be okay is the first book of poetry by jaye simpson, “an Oji-Cree Saulteaux Indigiqueer writer and activist from the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, with Scottish and French settler…
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1089 A lifetime of care and medicine

Improbable Journeys: From Crossing the Himalayas on Horseback to a Career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology by Dr. Bernard A.O. Binns and Ron Smith Oakville, ON: Rock’s Mills Press, 2020 $29.95 / 9781772441932 Reviewed by May Q. Wong * Editor’s note: for a subsequent review of Improbable Journeys by John Kenwright, see The Ormsby Review, June…
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1088 Music, extinction, and stardust

Stardust: memoir and essays by an astronomer who became a psychiatrist by Jaime Smith Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2021 $19.95 /  9781989467305 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * Editor’s note: Jaime Smith’s new book Stardust, reviewed here by Sheldon Goldfarb, contains Smith’s essays and his previously-published memoir Foxtrot: Notes from the Bear Cave, reviewed here by Peter Ward in…
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#832 Marx, Malthus, and Meech Lake

Itineraries: An Intellectual Odyssey by Philip Resnick Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2020 $21.95 /  9781553806028 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * Philip Resnick is an old-fashioned Canadian nationalist. I don’t mean harking back to the National Policy of Sir John A. Not that old-fashioned. More the nationalism of the 1970s, the Waffle Movement in the NDP, the…
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#824 From Bonavista to Turtle Island

Turtle Island: The Story of North America’s First People by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger Toronto: Annick Press, 2017 $16.95 / 9781554519439 * What the Eagle Sees: Indigenous Stories of Rebellion and Renewal by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger Toronto: Annick Press, 2019 $16.95 /  9781773213286 Both books reviewed by Kristina Hannis * Congratulations to…
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#798 Shipwrecks, orphans, pianos

Epistle to the Pope: Memoir and Survivor-Impact Statement from a Shipwrecked Orphan by Dharel Verville Victoria: FriesenPress Publishing, 2020 [price unknown] / 9781525554292 Reviewed by Constance Brissenden * Epistle to the Pope is the memoir of a seeker, a classical pianist, and a sometimes drug dealer and addict. Author Daryl Verville, known by his pen…
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#792 Fine words butter no parsnips

Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality by Bob Joseph with Cynthia F. Joseph Vancouver: Raincoast Books / Page Two Strategies, 2019 $19.95 / 9781989025642 Reviewed by David Milward * On March 12, 2020, Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality, by Bob Joseph with Cynthia F….
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770 Fractured fidelities

The Kissing Fence by B.A. Thomas-Peter Halfmoon Bay: Caitlin Press, 2020 $24.95 / 9781773860237 Reviewed by William New * This novel tells the connected stories of two boys. One grows up in the 1950s, but his entire life is damaged when he is forced away from his Doukhobor home and placed in a Kootenay residential…
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#749 Robin Blaser in retrospect

A Literary Biography of Robin Blaser: Mechanic of Splendor by Miriam Nichols New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019 $39.99 (U.S.) / 9783030183264 Reviewed by Sheldon Goldfarb * The most astonishing section of this book comes when author Miriam Nichols describes Robin Blaser’s time as a teacher at Simon Fraser University. Perhaps it is because…
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#746 An early Indigenous advocate

The Fourth World: An Indian Reality by George Manuel and Michael Posluns (foreword by Vine Deloria Jr., afterword by Doreen Manuel, introduction by Glen Coulthard) Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019 (first published by Collier Macmillan Canada, 1974) $24.95 (U.S.) / 9781517906061 Reviewed by Chris Arnett * When I taught in the First Nations studies…
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#700 The university at Point Grey

UBC: The Next Century by Tyee Bridge, with a foreword by Santa J. Ono Vancouver: Figure 1 Publishing, 2019 $40.00 / 9781773270883 Reviewed by Herbert Rosengarten * From the beginning the University of British Columbia (UBC) has nurtured ambitions of greatness. Its potential was recognized by BC’s premier, Sir Richard McBride, who sent his congratulations…
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#676 A trip down memory lane

Memory by Philippe Tortell, Mark Turin, and Margot Young (editors) Vancouver: UBC Press (Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies), 2018 $24.95 / 9781775276609 Reviewed by Forrest Pass * Historians think we know memory. “Social memory” — how communities, governments, and private interests understand and give the past meaning — is a well-established focus in my…
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#644 The Canadian genocide

The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation by David B. MacDonald Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9781487522698 Reviewed by David Milward * When one hears the word “genocide,” it is easy to instantly think of the Holocaust and then not take it any further than that. As…
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#634 Fragments of sorrow

Picking up the Pieces: Residential School Memories and the Making of the Witness Blanket by Carey Newman and Kirstie Hudson Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2019 $39.95 / 9781459819955 Reviewed by Sharon Fortney * Picking up the Pieces is a beautiful catalogue documenting the process behind the making of the Witness Blanket, an art installation created…
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#610 Secwépemc playwright honoured

Honouring the Strength of Indian Women: Plays, Stories, Poetry by Vera Manuel (author) and Michelle Coupal, Deanna Reder, Joanne Arnott, Emalene A. Manuel (editors) Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2019 $24.95 / 9780887558368 Reviewed by Diana French * Vera Manuel (1949-2010), actor, playwright, poet, drama therapist, and healer has been honoured with an anthology of…
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#574 Secwépemc Shuswap reflections

Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws: Yerí7 Stsq̓ey̓s-kucw by Marianne Ignace and Ronald Ignace, with a foreword by Bonnie Leonard Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press, 2017 $39.95 / 9780773551305 Reviewed by Cole Harris * Reviewed last year by Sarah Nickel in the Ormsby Review, Secwépemc People, Land, and Laws, by Marianne Ignace and Ronald Ignace, was shortlisted…
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