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Book club introduces newcomers to Indigenous storytelling, history

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A book club in London, Ont. is helping newcomers learn about Indigenous history and issues in Canada. 

The club was started by members of Coletivo Brasileiro, a collective of Brazilians living in London who are interested in culture and politics. 

Amanda Fogaça, a Coletivo Brasileiro member and London Public Library services librarian, said the book club was launched following the discovery of mass graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in B.C. 

“We decided that at least one way for us to contribute to Truth and Reconciliation was to learn about the truth,” said Fogaça. 

She said that members agree it’s their responsibility to understand the facts behind Canada’s history with residential schools and its treatment of Indigenous people. 

“I was listening on the radio and watching on the TV the issue, but I could not understand what was going on because I would not expect this to happen in Canada,” said member Gabriela Santos. 

“I needed to ask some people, but I understand this story better after chatting with the people in the book club. For me it was really, really important to help me understand this scenario.” 

The club’s reading list features books written by Indigenous authors currently including Thomas King, Cherie Dimaline, Tanya Talaga and Bob Joseph. 

Amanda Fogaça is a Coletivo Brasileiro member and London Public Library services librarian. (Angela McInnes/CBC)

September’s read was Dimaline’s sci-fi novel, The Marrow Thieves. The book tells the story of a futuristic world where North America’s Indigenous people are hunted for their bone marrow, which enables them to dream when no one else can. 

The group took two sessions to talk about the real-life implications of the novel, and examine how they relate to Indigenous issues occurring within Brazil. 

“If you want to learn more about issues that are affecting and have always affected Indigenous people, if you don’t really understand what residential schools were, the displacement of Indigenous people, what exactly happened with the treaties, this is a space where we can talk about it,” said Fogaça. 

Member Andressa Machado is reading the club’s next book on the list, Thomas King’s The Truth About Stories

“I think it’s a very important way to know about Canadian culture, and also participate in the community,” said Machado. 

The next session, which discusses The Truth About Stories, takes place on Oct. 30. 

Canadians as well as Brazilians are invited to register for this session through the London Public Library’s website


A book club in London, Ont. is helping newcomers learn about Indigenous history and issues in Canada. 

The club was started by members of Coletivo Brasileiro, a collective of Brazilians living in London who are interested in culture and politics. 

Amanda Fogaça, a Coletivo Brasileiro member and London Public Library services librarian, said the book club was launched following the discovery of mass graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School in B.C. 

“We decided that at least one way for us to contribute to Truth and Reconciliation was to learn about the truth,” said Fogaça. 

She said that members agree it’s their responsibility to understand the facts behind Canada’s history with residential schools and its treatment of Indigenous people. 

“I was listening on the radio and watching on the TV the issue, but I could not understand what was going on because I would not expect this to happen in Canada,” said member Gabriela Santos. 

“I needed to ask some people, but I understand this story better after chatting with the people in the book club. For me it was really, really important to help me understand this scenario.” 

The club’s reading list features books written by Indigenous authors currently including Thomas King, Cherie Dimaline, Tanya Talaga and Bob Joseph. 

Amanda Fogaça is a Coletivo Brasileiro member and London Public Library services librarian. (Angela McInnes/CBC)

September’s read was Dimaline’s sci-fi novel, The Marrow Thieves. The book tells the story of a futuristic world where North America’s Indigenous people are hunted for their bone marrow, which enables them to dream when no one else can. 

The group took two sessions to talk about the real-life implications of the novel, and examine how they relate to Indigenous issues occurring within Brazil. 

“If you want to learn more about issues that are affecting and have always affected Indigenous people, if you don’t really understand what residential schools were, the displacement of Indigenous people, what exactly happened with the treaties, this is a space where we can talk about it,” said Fogaça. 

Member Andressa Machado is reading the club’s next book on the list, Thomas King’s The Truth About Stories

“I think it’s a very important way to know about Canadian culture, and also participate in the community,” said Machado. 

The next session, which discusses The Truth About Stories, takes place on Oct. 30. 

Canadians as well as Brazilians are invited to register for this session through the London Public Library’s website

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