After a hunting trip one fall, a family in the far reaches of so-called Canada’s north return to nothing but an empty space where their home once stood. Finding themselves suddenly homeless, they have no choice but to assimilate into settler-colonial society in a mining town that has encroached on their freedom.
An intergenerational coming-of-age novel, This House Is Not a Home follows Kǫ̀, a Dene man who grew up entirely on the land before being taken to residential school. When he finally returns home, he struggles to connect with his family: his younger brother whom he has never met, his mother because he has lost his language, and an absent father whose disappearance he is too afraid to question.
The third book from acclaimed Dene, Cree and Metis writer Katłįà, This House Is Not a Home is a fictional story based on true events. Visceral and embodied, heartbreaking and spirited, this book presents a clear trajectory of how settlers dispossessed Indigenous Peoples of their land — and how Indigenous communities, with dignity and resilience, continue to live and honour their culture, values, inherent knowledge systems, and Indigenous rights towards re-establishing sovereignty. Fierce and unflinching, this story is a call for land back.
About the author
Katłįà is a Dene woman from the Northwest Territories. Previously serving as a councillor for her First Nation, Yellowknives Dene, she is an activist, poet and columnist and law student in Indigeous Legal Orders. Katłįà writes about Indigenous injustices with a focus on the North. Katłįà’s first novel, Land-Water-Sky, won the NorthWoods Book Awards (2021)
“Absolutely exquisite. Told with such love and gentle ferocity, I’m convinced This House Is Not A Home will never leave those who read it. I am in awe of what I’ve witnessed here. Mahsi cho, Katlia. Bravo!”
Richard Van Camp author of The Lesser Blessed and Moccasin Square Gardens