June is Indigenous History Month, with June 21 set aside as National Indigenous Peoples Day, and BramptonLibrary invites you to listen, read, learn, and reflect on the tragedy, injustice, and promise of the first peoples of Canada.

From broken treaty promises, to residential school abuse, to the “Sixties Scoop”, to the innumerable missing and murdered women, girls and two-spirit people, the history of Indigenous peoples is difficult and continues to have repercussions today. We only have to look at the recent revelation of the graves of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School to remark on the continuing trauma. 

Yet there is hope, and a new generation of Indigenous authors, artists, leaders, academics, journalists, and activists to show us what a universal recognition of human rights can look like. I encourage you to listen to these voices and to reflect on both the mistakes and the promise of Canada’s relationship with its First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. 

To help you, Brampton Library is proud to showcase lists of Must-Read Titles for National Indigenous History Monthas well as two bookshelves of ebooks in cloudLibrary: Celebrate National Indigenous History Month and Indigenous Reads for Kids & Teens.

My own personal recommendations include the book Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese and the excellent film based on it. If you prefer something lighter, but no less edifying, I recommend Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth About Lies About Indians from comedian/activist Darrell Dennis. 

A couple of recent winners of the Governor General's Literary Award are also available to borrow. The play Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch’s Story, currently an Amazon Bestseller for Canadian Dramas and Plays, has been ordered and can be placed on hold from the Library. Another winner is Five Little Indians: A Novel, available in print and eBook formats.

Lastly, I want to offer this piece of wisdom for all Canadians that I learned from library colleagues: We are all Treaty people, whether Indigenous, settlers, immigrants, newcomers... We are on the same road together. Start your journey to reconciliation at the Library!

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