Thoughtful, inspiring, and moving, This Place: 150 Years Retold collects ten tales about the Indigenous communities of Canada and their troubled relationship with the country’s non-Indigenous inhabitants.
The talented writers and artists of This Place tell stories of protest and uprising against Canada’s government, including incidents seldom discussed outside of Indigenous communities. Some protests succeeded and some failed, but This Place does more than just share historical accounts. It demonstrates how protests are intricately woven into native history and culture, which spans all the landmass of Canada.
These stories are engaging—not just as testaments to the power of grassroots political movements, but as tributes to the individuals who led them, many braving tremendous dangers and hardships to do so. Though they are always inspired by facts, fictional stories of a cannibalizing spirit, spirits and talismans, and even time travel provide variety and surprises. The story “Nimkii” might be the collection’s most memorable, with its fictionalized account of the Sixties Scoop, in which Indigenous children were taken wholesale and placed into adoption or foster care with the full support of the Canadian government.
Each story is prefaced with a brief background explanation by its author, along with a timeline listing important events within the book’s 150-year time frame. These, along with a selected bibliography for further reference, make This Place valuable as a learning tool. But first and foremost, it’s a collection of exciting, entertaining, beautifully drawn stories; as Alicia Elliott states in her foreword, “Every Indigenous person’s story is, in a way, a tale of overcoming apocalypse.”
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