Staff Picks: Alex Liot Picks I Lost My Talk by Rita Joe
I had selected I Lost My Talk as my staff pick from the current VOICES collection before the horrific news of the Kamloops residential school was known this weekend. In fact it was incredibly helpful that I had read it and discussed it with my boys (aged six and eight years) in advance of the news, so that they had some foundation to process this almost unbelievable news.
It reminded me that when I was their age (in the late 1980s), these schools were still in active use in our country and we were taught nothing about them. Worse, in my opinion, the relationship between colonizers and Indigenous Peoples was painted as harmonious, supportive and normal.
It is clear this was a massive, systemic lie. The stories of Indigenous Peoples must be told by them, and in forms that all ages can engage, a key reason I Lost My Talk by Rita Joe should be on every parent’s reading list.
I am so saddened about this recent news. And I am bracing for more. But I am grateful we have authors and storytellers still willing to share their experiences and help us all grow.