Finished reading All Our Relations by Tanya Talaga 📚.
Starting out by focussing on a suicide epidemic amongst young Canadian Indigenous people, this book chronicles the historic, and unfortunately oftentimes ongoing, injustices that have been meted out on Indigenous people ever since the usually white European colonists ‘discovered’ the ‘New World’.
From a past of overtly eliminating a people they regarded as inferior, through to more recent decades which included a ‘residential schools’ policy forcibly assimilating any remaining Indigenous children, the author argues that the now-dominant society has caused physical, mental, cultural and spiritual crises amongst entire communities of Indigenous people.
A few success stories are included showing that there may be hope when these communities are able to develop or collaborate on culturally and practically relevant solutions to situations so bad that poor health, poverty, addiction, isolation, despair and even suicide is commonplace.
The focus seems mainly on the Canadian experience, but several examples from elsewhere are provided. Upsettingly, they lead towards the conclusion that the offences committed against, and resulting challenges faced by, Indigenous people around the world are quite similar.