Recommended Reading List
Shaughnessy Cohen Finalists 2018
Download list
Please login or register to use this feature.

Shaughnessy Cohen Finalists 2018

By 49thShelf
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
The Writers’ Trust of Canada has named the five finalists for the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. The winner will be announced in Ottawa on May 9, 2018, at the annual Politics and the Pen gala.   Finalist books include biographies of the tenth prime minister of Canada and the first prime minister of the Dominion of Newfoundland, a journalist’s and a soldier’s two very different perspectives on the personal impacts of war, and an investigation of the lives and tragic deaths of seven Indigenous high school students.   The finalists, selected by a jury composed of University of Victoria professor of Indigenous governance Taiaiake Alfred, former Shaughnessy Cohen Prize winner and University of Toronto professor Joseph Heath, and political journalist and commentator Kady O’Malley, are:
Unbuttoned

Unbuttoned

A History of Mackenzie King’s Secret Life
edition:eBook
tagged :

When Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King died in 1950, the public knew little about his eccentric private life. In his final will King ordered the destruction of his private diaries, seemingly securing his privacy for good. Yet twenty-five years after King’s death, the public was bombarded with stories about "Weird Willie," the prime minister who communed with ghosts and cavorted with prostitutes. Unbuttoned traces the transformation of the public’s knowledge and opinion of King’s c …

More Info
All We Leave Behind

All We Leave Behind

A Reporter's Journey into the Lives of Others
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback

Winner of the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
Finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction
Finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
 
An incredible work of non-fiction that reads like a thriller, All We Leave Behind is the true story of a family fleeing the death sentence of a ruthless warlord, written by the journalist who broke all her own rules to get …

More Info
Out Standing in the Field

Out Standing in the Field

A Memoir by Canada's First Female Infantry Officer
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

Some books are catalysts. Shake Hands with the Devil was one. For 2017, that book is Out Standing in the Field. In her memoir, Sandra Perron describes her experience of the Canadian Military - one of the most important institutions of our nation. What she has to say is exactly what the top brass has been paying lip-service to for years, and doing nothing to improve.

In 2016, the Auditor General's Report noted that the military had no strategy to recruit women, even though they are required to me …

More Info
Robert Bond

Robert Bond

The Greatest Newfoundlander
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : political

The foremost political figure from the years of responsible government in Newfoundland, Robert Bond led a spectacularly successful but often tortured life. Cultured and well-to-do, he tried to play the game of politics like a gentleman, and over a period of 30 years never suffered a defeat at the polls. During his remarkable career, he built a reputation as a statesman, negotiating two trade agreements with the United States and reclaiming Newfoundland's rights to the French Shore. In the dark d …

More Info
Seven Fallen Feathers

Seven Fallen Feathers

Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

The shocking true story covered by the Guardian and the New York Times of the seven young Indigenous students who were found dead in a northern Ontario city.
In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.
More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school stu …

More Info
Excerpt

It’s early April and the 2011 federal election is in full swing. All over Canada, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are duking it out with Jack Layton’s New Democrats and the struggling Liberals in a bid to win a majority government.

I’m in Thunder Bay, Ontario, to see Stan Beardy, the Nishawbe-Aski Nation’s grand chief, to interview him for a story on why it is indigenous people never seem to vote.

The receptionist at the NAN’s office greets me and ushers me into a large, common meeting room to wait for Stan. Everything in the room is grey — the walls, the tubular plastic tables, the carpets. The only splash of colour is a large white flag with a bear on it that has been tacked to the wall.

The Great White Bear stands in the centre of a red circle, in the middle of the flag. The white bear is the traditional symbol of the life of the North American Indian. The red circle background is symbolic of the Red Man. His feet are standing, planted firmly on the bottom line, representing the Earth while his head touches the top line, symbolic to his relationship to the Great Spirit in the sky. The bear is stretched out, arms and feet open wide, to show he has nothing to hide.

There are circles joining the bear’s rib cage. They are the souls of the people, indigenous songs, and legends. The circles are the ties that bind all the clans together.

These circles also offer protection. Without them, the ribcage would expose the great bear’s beating heart and leave it open to harm.

Stan walks in and greets me warmly, his brown eyes twinkling as he takes a seat.

Stan is pensive, quiet, and patient. He says nothing as he wearily leans back in his chair and waits for me to explain why exactly I flew 2,400 km north from Toronto to see him and talk about the federal election.

I launch into my spiel, trying not to sound like a salesperson or an interloper into his world, someone who kind of belongs here and kind of does not. This is the curse of my mixed blood. I am the daughter of a half-Anish mom and a Polish father.

I ramble off abysmal voting pattern statistics across Canada, while pointing out that in many ridings indigenous people could act as a swing vote, influencing that riding and hence the trajectory of the election.

Stan stares at me impassively. Non-plussed.

So I start firing off some questions.

It doesn’t go well. Every time I try to engage him, asking him about why indigenous people won’t get in the game and vote, he begins talking about the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Jordan Wabasse.

It was a frustrating exchange, like we were speaking two different languages.

“Indigenous voters could influence fifty seats across the country if they got out and voted but they don’t. Why?” I ask.

“Why aren’t you writing a story on Jordan Wabasse? He has been gone seventy-one days now,” replies Stan.

“Stephen Harper has been no friend to indigenous people yet if everyone voted, they could swing the course of this election,” I continue, hoping he’ll bite at the sound of Harper’s name. The man is no friend of the Indians.

“They found a shoe down by the water. Police think it might have been his,” replies Stan.

This went on for a good fifteen minutes. I was annoyed. I knew a missing Grade 9 indigenous student in Thunder Bay would not make news in urban Toronto at Canada’s largest daily newspaper. I could practically see that election bus rolling away without me.

Then I remembered my manners and where I was.

I was sitting with the elected grand chief of 23,000 people and he was clearly trying to tell me something.

I tried a new tactic. I’d ask about Jordan and then I’d swing around and get him to talk about elections.

Then Stan said: “Jordan is the seventh student to go missing or die while at school.”

Seven.

Stan says their names: “Reggie Bushie. Jethro Anderson. Paul Panacheese. Curran Strang. Robyn Harper. Kyle Morrisseau. And now, Jordan Wabasse.”

He then tells me the seven were hundreds of miles away from their home communities and families.

Each was forced to leave their reserve simply because there was no high school for them to attend.

“Going to high school is the right of every Canadian child,” says Stan, adding that these children are no different.

close this panel
comments powered by Disqus

There are two ways to make a reading list

This way:

  1. Click the "Create a New List" button just above this panel.
  2. Add as many books as you wish using the built-in search on the list edit page.

Or that way:

  1. Go to any book page.
  2. In the right-hand column, click on "Add to List." A drop-down menu will appear.
  3. From the drop-down menu, either add your book to a list you have already created or create a new list.
  4. View and edit your lists anytime on your profile page.
X
Contacting facebook
Please wait...