The Reason You Walk
Written by Wab Kinew
Being Canadian, I feel shame in how little knowledge I have about Indigenous culture. Yes, I received the mandated (edited) version of history in school but beyond that have not really delved deeper into the hardship that this community has faced as a result of colonialism. That changed a few years ago when I accepted a position at a post-secondary institute that has a strong commitment to Indigenous success. Through this role, I have had the privilege to hear many powerful stories on the subject which has given me the desire to listen more. This book adds another voice to those stories. It is an incredibly poignant memoir that shares the horrors of the residential school system and its after-effects; the transformative power of reconciliation; and what it's like to fight for Indigenous rights in the Idle No More age. I was incredibly moved by the final section ("Giiwekwaadizid"), as well as the inclusion of traditional language. Wab has the power to connect with an audience, which may bring him successfully to the political stage in the future.
Favourite line: "Reconciliation is realized when two people come together and understand that what they share unites them and that what is different about them needs to be respected."
The Canadaland Guide to Canada
Written by Jesse Brown
This book juxtaposes fact with irreverence becoming a completely hilarious "exposé" on what the great white north is really about. Author Jesse Brown is a journalist that runs the Canadaland website and podcast, and was formerly most well-known for his investigative work on breaking the Jian Ghomeshi case. In "The Canadaland Guide to Canada", he explores our history, culture, politics and everything in between prodding the reader to contemplate and question our reputation of being a polite, tolerant nation (for example, Canada's Indian Act was the inspiration for South Africa's apartheid policy). My current residence was suspiciously (perhaps thankfully) omitted from mention but my hometown of Winnipeg had several shout-outs. Highly recommended.
Favourite line: "...there is not one person in Manitoba you want to see naked."
Written by Emily Kydd
Rice has become one of the main staples of my diet. I love its nutritional value, ease of cooking and remarkable versatility. This book showcases over 70 easy-to-follow, illustrated recipes to switch the simple grain up from side dishes to mains to desserts and treats. I've already explored a number of them – all tasty – including this one pot jambalaya I made (pictured below). Excellent reference for someone just starting out (like moi) or for those looking to diversify usage of ingredients already found in the kitchen.