Coming This Summer:
Lauren Prescott’s family secrets were buried long before she was born, during the sixties era when her great-grandparents took in a runaway girl from an Indian residential school. Her ailing grandfather, who was a teenager back then, now longs to find the girl—Rose Hill—to right a wrong before he dies. He’s ashamed of how he treated her because he recoiled from the racist climate of colonialism of the time. Haunted by the past, Lauren risks everything to go after the truth for her grandfather—even her life!
I was compelled to write this book shortly after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission had released their report, the media prolific with stories about Indian residential schools. I couldn’t get these heartbreaking tales of neglect, deprivation, and physical and emotional abuse out of my head. As a teacher working in the regular school system—and a product of a white, middle-class upbringing—I had been living in a bubble with its perks and privileges. I needed to step outside of my world and share what I had learned; so, for three years I’ve been visiting Indigenous cultural events and centres and reading everything I could get my hands on about Indigenous issues in Canada; some of these excellent resources are listed below. If Indigenous readers find mistakes in the story, I ask that they forgive me, for I still have much to learn.
Johnston, Basil. think Indian: languages are beyond price. Wiarton: Kegedonce Press, 2011.
Jordan-Fenton, Christy, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and Amini-Holmes, illustrator. fatty legs. Toronto: Annick Press, 2010.
Joseph, Bob. 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality. Vancouver: Page Two Books, Inc., 2018.
King, Thomas. The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in America. Toronto: Anchor Canada, 2013.
Maracle, Lee. Will’s Garden. Pentiction: Theytus Books, 2002.
Miller, J.R. Residential Schools and Reconciliation: Canada Confronts Its History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017.
National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. A Knock On The Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2016.
Robertson, David A., and Scott B. Henderson, illustrator. Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story. Winnipeg: HighWater Press, 2012.
Rogers, Shelagh, ed., Mike De Gagné, ed., and Jonathan Dewar, ed. Speaking My Truth: Reflections on Reconciliation and Residential School. Ottawa: Aboriginal Healing Foundation, 2012.
Rustige, Rona, and Jeri Maracle Van Der Vlag, illustrator. Tyendinaga Tales. Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press. 1988.
Sellars, Bev. They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2013.
Talaga, Tanya. Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, House of Anansi Press, 2017.
The Holy Bible. “Ecclesiastes” (chapter 3, verses 1-8). Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Vowel, Chelsea. Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues in Canada. Winnipeg: Highwater Press, 2016.