Your cart is currently empty!
September 30 is Truth and Reconciliation Day in Canada: a day to mourn the Indigenous children lost to and abused in Canada’s residential school system, and a resounding call to know and action the 94 Calls to Action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s report. These books, from personal memoirs to essays to novels to poetry collections, are a place to get started.
Showing 1–16 of 25 results
Deluxe redesign of the Gerald Lampert Award-winning classic.
On the occasion of the press’s 40th anniversary, Brick Books is proud to present the fourth of six new editions of classic books from our back catalogue. This edition of A Really Good Brown Girl features a new Introduction by Lee Maracle, a new Afterword by the author and a new cover and design by the renowned typographer Robert Bringhurst.
First published in 1996, A Really Good Brown Girl is a fierce, honest and courageous account of what it takes to grow into one’s self and one’s Métis heritage in the face of myriad institutional and cultural obstacles. It is an indispensable contribution to Canadian literature.
I am looking at a school picture, grade five, I am smiling easily … I look poised, settled, like I belong. I won an award that year for most improved student. I learned to follow really well. –from “Memoirs of a Really Good Brown Girl”
“No other book so exonerates us, elevates us and at the same time indicts Canada in language so eloquent it almost hurts to hear it.” –Lee Maracle, from the Introduction
Bent Back Tongue is a raw examination of love, identity, politics, masculinity, and vulnerability. Through sharp honesty and revealing satire, Gottfriedson delves into Canadian colonialism and the religious political paradigms shaping experiences of a Secwépemc First Nations man. This is a book that tears through deceptions that both Canada and the church impose on their citizens. Gottfriedson tackles the darkest layers of a shared colonial history; at the same time, the poems in Bent Back Tongue are a celebration of love, land, family, and the self.
Blood follows a Two-Spirit Indigenous person as they navigate urbanity, queerness, and a kaleidoscope of dreams, memory, and kinship.
Conceived in the same world as their acclaimed debut, Bones, Tyler Pennock’s Blood centres around a protagonist who at first has difficulty knowing the difference between connection and pain, and we move with them as they explore what it means to want. Pennock weaves longing, intimacy, and Anishinaabe relationalities to recentre and rethink their speaker’s relationship to the living–never forgetting non-human kin.
This book is a look at how deep history is represented in the everyday; it also tries to answer how one person can challenge the impacts of that history. It is a reminder that Indigenous people carry the impacts of colonial history and wrestle with them constantly. Blood explores the relationships between spring and winter, ice and water, static things and things beginning to move, and what emerges in the thaw.
“A music as sensitive as it is revelatory.”–Canisia Lubrin, author of The Dyzgraphxst
A collection of letter and prayer poems in which an Indigenous speaker engages with non-Indigenous famous Canadians.
D.A. Lockhart’s stunning and subversive fourth collection gives us the words, thoughts, and experiences of an Anishinaabe guy from Central Ontario and the manner in which he interacts with central aspects and icons of settler Canadian culture. Riffing off Richard Hugo’s 31 Letters and 13 Dreams, the work utilizes contemporary Indigenous poetics to carve out space for often ignored voices in dominant Canadian discourse (and in particular for a response to this dominance through the cultural background of an Indigenous person living on land that has been fundamentally changed by settler culture).
The letter poems comprise a large portion of this collection and are each addressed to specific key public figures–from Sarah Polley to Pierre Berton, k.d. lang to Robertson Davies, Don Cherry to Emily Carr. The second portion of the pieces are prayer poems, which tenderly illustrate hybrid notions of faith that have developed in contemporary Indigenous societies in response to modern and historical realities of life in Canada. Together, these poems act as a lyric whole to push back against the dominant view of Canadian political and pop-culture history and offer a view of a decolonized nation.
Because free double-doubles…
tease us like bureaucratic promises
of medical coverage and housing
not given to black mold and torn-
off siding. Oh Lord, let us sing anew,
in this pre-dawn light, a chorus
that shall not repeat Please Play Again. (from “Roll Up the Rim Prayer”)
Winner of the NorthWords Book Award
“An evocative story that winds back and forth from past to present, from the broad historical interaction of Indigenous peoples and Europeans to his own personal details.” —Maclean’s
In this poetic, poignant memoir, Dene artist and social activist Antoine Mountain paints an unforgettable picture of his journey from residential school to art school—and his path to healing.
In 1949, Antoine Mountain was born on the land near Radelie Koe, Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories. At the tender age of seven, he was stolen away from his home and sent to a residential school—run by the Roman Catholic Church in collusion with the Government of Canada—three hundred kilometres away. Over the next twelve years, the three residential schools Mountain was forced to attend systematically worked to erase his language and culture, the very roots of his identity.
While reconnecting to that which had been taken from him, he had a disturbing and painful revelation of the bitter depths of colonialism and its legacy of cultural genocide. Canada has its own holocaust, Mountain argues. As a celebrated artist and social activist today, Mountain shares this moving, personal story of healing and the reclamation of his Dene identity.
In Ojibwe cosmology there are thirteen moons, and in these pages are thirteen offerings from Ghost Lake, an interrelated cast of characters and their brushes with the mysterious. Issa lives in fear of having her secret discovered, Aanzheyaawin haunts the roads seeking vengeance, Zaude searches for clues to her brother’s death, Fanon struggles against an unexpected winter storm, Eadie and Mushkeg share a magical night, Tyner faces brutal violence, and Tyler, Clay, and Dare must make amends to the spirits before it’s too late. Here the precolonial past is not so distant, and nothing is ever truly lost or destroyed because the land remembers. Ghost Lake is a companion volume to Adler’s Indigenous horror novel, Wrist (2016, Kegedonce Press). It was the winner of the 2021 Indigenous Voices Award in Published English Fiction, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Eric Hoffer da Vinci Eye Award in Book Design.
This stellar debut collection by Métis poet Diana Hope Tegenkamp takes us through many worlds and wonders. In Girl running, we find solace and outrage, grief and tenderness, bewilderment and beauty, all “entangled in hope and dreaming.” The poet’s love of the natural world is both earthy and adamantine, and her passion for literature and art is just as rich a source for her questioning eye.
On the edge of Saskatoon, a woman opens a car door and flees. A child runs away from residential school after a beating. A Métis man’s ghost gallops on a ghost horse across the prairies. Henry James’ 19th-century heroine, Isabel Archer, runs across a wintery yard. Lana Tisdel drives away from Falls City, Nebraska, after the murder of her transgender boyfriend.
After many losses—of a mother known and loved, of a Métis father unknown and imagined—the ‘girl’ of this collection is running towards and away from mortality. In these poems, disappearances, perpetual flights, river walks, shadowy descents and miraculous returns connect daily living and mortality, current social realities and ancient histories, the surface and the subterranean depths of our complicated lives. Lovers of contemporary Canadian poetry will find that this textured collection rewards reading and rereading.
Hope Matters, written by multiple award-winner Lee Maracle, in collaboration with her daughters Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter, focuses on the journey of Indigenous people from colonial beginnings to reconciliation.
Maracle states that the book, “is also about the journey of myself and my two daughters.” During their youth, Bobb and Carter wrote poetry with their mother, and eventually they all decided that one day they would write a book together. This book is the result of that dream.
Written collaboratively by all three women, the poems in Hope Matters blend their voices together into a shared song of hope and reconciliation.
I Will Be Corrupted is a collection of poems about a man who suffers from serious depression but is able to appear normal and live somewhat of a normal life. And yet what he sees and experiences in his everyday become poems and an insight into the mind of a kind and gentle person who wants to understand why he is here.
WINNER OF THE HERITAGE TORONTO 2022 BOOK AWARD
Rich and diverse narratives of Indigenous Toronto, past and present
Beneath many major North American cities rests a deep foundation of Indigenous history that has been colonized, paved over, and, too often, silenced. Few of its current inhabitants know that Toronto has seen twelve thousand years of uninterrupted Indigenous presence and nationhood in this region, along with a vibrant culture and history that thrives to this day.
With contributions by Indigenous Elders, scholars, journalists, artists, and historians, this unique anthology explores the poles of cultural continuity and settler colonialism that have come to define Toronto as a significant cultural hub and intersection that was also known as a Meeting Place long before European settlers arrived.
“This book is a reflection of endurance and a helpful corrective to settler fantasies. It tells a more balanced account of our communities, then and now. It offers the space for us to reclaim our ancestors’ language and legacy, rewriting ourselves back into a landscape from which non Indigenous historians have worked hard to erase us. But we are there in the skyline and throughout the GTA, along the coast and in all directions.” – from the introduction by Hayden King
From acclaimed filmmaker, artist and activist Marjorie Beaucage comes a poetic memoir that reflects on seven decades of living and seeking justice as a Two Spirit Michif woman. Poems, poetic observations and thoughtful meanderings comprise this inspirational journal-memoir-poetry collection from a woman who has dedicated her life and her talent to creating social change. Unfolding the wisdom gained from experience, leave some for the birds: movements for justice offers guidance for younger activists following the author’s trailblazing footsteps.
Drawing on her Ojibwa roots and storytelling, Barnes shares stories that take the heart on the path to the past, nostalgic though it may be, wherein lies discovery, memories, and rhythms that ease the soul. Touching, tender but never overwrought, Barnes’ poetry brings wonder to the spirit of nature and provides a sense of connection to the things most often overlooked.
***2022 ATLANTIC BOOK AWARDS: APMA BEST ATLANTIC-PUBLISHED BOOK AWARD – SHORTLIST***
***2022 BMO WINTERSET AWARD – LONGLIST***
***2022-2023 HACKMATACK AWARD: ENGLISH FICTION – SHORTLIST***
***2022 IPPY AWARDS: MULTICULTURAL FICTION: JUV/YA – SILVER***
In 1822, William Epps Cormack sought the expertise of a guide who could lead him across Newfoundland in search of the last remaining Beothuk camps on the island. In his journals, Cormack refers to his guide only as “My Indian.”
Now, almost two hundred years later, Mi’sel Joe and Sheila O’Neill reclaim the story of Sylvester Joe, the Mi’kmaw guide engaged by Cormack. In a remarkable feat of historical fiction, My Indian follows Sylvester Joe from his birth (in what is now known as Miawpukek First Nation) and early life in his community to his journey across the island with Cormack. But will Sylvester Joe lead Cormack to the Beothuk, or will he protect the Beothuk and lead his colonial explorer away?
In rewriting the narrative of Cormack’s journey from the perspective of his Mi’kmaw guide, My Indian reclaims Sylvester Joe’s identity.