Cloudwalker by Roy Henry Vickers explores the creation of British Columbia’s largest salmon-bearing rivers. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Prince Rupert Library recognizes National Indigenous History Month

Friends of the Library Book Club puts the focus on Indigenous authors and reconciliation

The Prince Rupert Public Library recognized National Indigenous History Month in June by selecting a number of Indigenous authors for their monthly Friends of the Library Book Club.

The motive was to “foster understanding of Indigenous issues, and put Indigenous authors into prominence,” Lou Allison said. Allison is a library assistant, and also runs the Friends of the Library Book Club.

The books selected for the June book club featured Indigenous authors with diverse backgrounds and experiences. In the spirit of Indigenous History Month, the works featured a commonality of searching for the best way forward after centuries of discrimination and abuse against Canada’s original inhabitants.

Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson follows 16-year-old Jared as he attempts to navigate a number of difficult family dynamics. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Adawga Gant Wilaaytga Gyetga Suwildook, or Rituals of Respect and the Sea Otter Hunt by Henry Reeves and illustrated by Sara Porter. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Of course, Allison wanted to make clear that these works are not something we should be exploring just 30 days of the year.

“It’s not just reading for social conscience, these are incredible writers,” she said.

READ MORE: Prince Rupert celebrates Indigenous Peoples Day

A collection of the carving works of Tahltan-Tlingit artist Dempsey Bob. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

The Prince Rupert library has made increased efforts to incorporate reconciliation initiatives into their operations. In 2017 a Talking Circle was held to generate a dialogue on issues that should be addressed moving forward. Last year a month was dedicated to Indian Horse by author Richard Wagamese, which won the Burt Award for the top work of young adult literature by an Indigenous writer in Canada.

The library has also established a Northwest History Collection room with books on First Nations history in B.C., and has a variety of reading and resource material related to reconciliation efforts.

READ MORE: Programs prove popular at local library

Alex Kurial | Journalist
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