Shortlisted for the 2018 Toronto Book Award
Shortlisted for the First Nation Communities READ 2018-2019 Award
On her first book tour at the age of 26, Lee Maracle was asked a question from the audience, one she couldn't possibly answer at that moment. But she has been thinking about it ever since. As time has passed, she has been asked countless similar questions, all of them too big to answer, but not too large to contemplate. These questions, which touch upon subjects such as citizenship, segregation, labour, law, prejudice and reconciliation, to name a few, are the heart of My Conversations with Canadians.
In essays that are both conversational and direct, Maracle seeks not to provide any answers to these questions she has lived with for so long. Rather, she thinks through each one using a multitude of experiences she has had as a First Nations leader, a woman, a mother, and grandmother over the course of her life. Lee Maracle's My Conversations with Canadians presents a tour de force exploration into the writer's own history and a reimagining of the future of our nation.
About the author
Lee Maracle is a member of the Sto:Lo nation. She was born in Vancouver and grew up on the North Shore. She is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Ravensong and Daughters Are Forever. Her novel for young adults, Will’s Garden was well-received and is taught in schools. She has also published on book of poetry, Bent Box, and a work of creative non-fiction, I Am Woman. She is the co-editor of a number of anthologies, including the award winning anthology My Home As I Remember and Telling It: Women and Language across Culture. Her work has been published in anthologies and scholarly journals worldwide. The mother of four and grandmother of seven, Maracle is currently an instructor at the University of Toronto, the Traditional Teacher for First Nation’s House, and instructor with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and the S.A.G.E. (Support for Aboriginal Graduate Education). She is also a writing instructor at the Banff Centre for the Arts.
In 2009, Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University. Maracle recently received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work promoting writing among Aboriginal Youth, and is 2014 finalist for the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington.
Praise for My Converstaions With Canadians:
"My Conversations With Canadians… offer[s] strength and solidarity to Indigenous readers, and a generous guide to allyship for non-Indigenous readers. For the latter, these books will unsettle, but to engage in allyship is to commit to being unsettled—all the time." —The Globe and Mail
"Maracle sets the record straight on a few of our beloved myths, including Canada's current narrative as a model multicultural society." —Kamal Al-Solaylee
"A very timely work in the era of the botched Canada 150 celebrations and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women inquiry… a powerful and thought provoking read. Highly recommended." —Vancouver Sun
"By inviting us into her home, Maracle reminds us that we inhabit someone else's space. We come to see that maybe we are the problem and that reconciliation is not a solution—not without restitution." —The UC Observer
"In these pages, Maracle develops a relationship with her audience that feels intuitive and intimate, yet weaves together something far more comprehensive than any interview or conversation could provide." —Maisonneuve
"As challenging as these "conversations" may be for some Canadians, the harshness pales in comparison to the abuses endured at residential schools. Readers will not be stripped naked, deloused, and then shaved bald on their first day of school. Only the readers' false notions will be stripped away." —Hamilton Review of Books
"Maracle, never one to hold back, is an unblinking observer of First Nations experience and seizes the moment—specifically the occasion of Canada's 150th birthday—to release this collection of essays… A unique voice worth heeding." —Now Magazine