One of my resolutions this year was the prioritize reading and find a balance between my interests. I've always been a reader, and when my reading slows down I start to feel like I'm missing something. I'm planning to include monthly reading wrap ups to document what I've been reading. If you're a reader, I hope you look forward to these. I don't want to commit to adding full reviews and I don't want to feel pressured to read faster, and I think a monthly wrap up will work best. In December, I started reading Seven Fallen Feather by Tanya Talaga. It was the only book I read, because I had to take it slow. As an indigenous woman, and a mother this book hurt my heart.
Over the course of 11 years (2000-2011) seven indigenous teenagers were found dead, 5 of those were found in the river. This happened in Thunder Bay, Ontario while these children were attending high school, hundreds of miles away from their families. Living in remote communities, these children were forced to leave their home if they want to finish their high school education. Beyond the eighth grade, these children need to leave home because their communities don't have schools set up to educate them. Why? the funding isn't there. They young teenagers are vulnerable, in many cases living with strangers, and the system is failing them.
The Canadian public largely doesn't pay attention to Indigenous issues in this country. So many people believe that our issues are mostly put to rest, but they're not. These children are being set up to fail. Residential schools closed in 1996 and we still have a huge problem with the schooling. Many remote communities still have no running water or proper plumbing or heating. Today, in 2018 they have NO running water and the government has promised that it might be completed by 2021. I'll believe it when I see it, because I have no faith in the Federal Government.
Tanya Talaga had written a book that should be read by all Canadians. It's a shock to the system that will force people to see a truth. These stories need to be told, they need to be read. Yes, it really hurt me heart but it was readable and really well told. I firmly believe that our education system plays a huge roll in why non Indigenous people don't pay attention to our problems, don't feel outraged that this is happening in Canada. Many of the history textbooks don't mention Native Americans beyond discovering Canada and first contact. We're still here, we're still fighting to keep our culture and protect our people. The government likes to make promises but until they're put into action, it means nothing.