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Ojibwe Author Tanya Talaga Joins Selkirk College’s Truth & Justice Series Conversation

Tanya Talaga is Ojibwe with roots in the Fort William First Nation in Ontario. A former journalist for the Toronto Star, award winning author and president of her own production company focused on Indigenous storytelling, Talaga will be featured in the March 4 virtual Truth & Justice Speaker Series presented by Selkirk College. — Photo courtesy Selkirk College

Veteran journalist and acclaimed Ojibwe author Tanya Talaga will discuss the current state of Indigenous resurgence in Canada on March 4 as part of Selkirk College’s Truth & Justice Speaker Series.

A journalist at the Toronto Star for more than 20 years, Talaga garnered national attention with the 2017 release of her first book Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern Citythat shared the heartbreaking story of seven First Nations youth killed in Thunder Bay. One of the most sought-after keynote speakers in Canada, the March 4 virtual speaker series event will focus on the topic: Rights Before Reconciliation.

“Tanya’s truth-telling approach has brought a vital voice to the current reality facing Indigenous people and communities,” says Leah Lychowyd, Counsellor for Indigenous Students at Selkirk College and one of the organizers of the event. “Her deep knowledge and storytelling ability make it impossible to ignore the ongoing underlying issues in Canada. Her ultimate message is one of hope and Indigenous resilience, but getting there requires an honest look at today’s landscape.”

Presented by the Mir Centre for Peace and Indigenous Services, Selkirk College’s Truth & Justice Speaker Series is focused on opening up conversations for the entire community to discover current issues both regionally and beyond. Among several scheduled events during the week of March 2 for the sixth annual Indigenous Cultural Celebration, the Talaga talk is being presented in partnership with Nelson’s Capitol Theatre and School District #8.

It has been five years since Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission issued its groundbreaking report, a document that promised sweeping changes. Impatience grows amongst Indigenous communities as the people watch recent events such the struggles in Wet’su’weten territory, Black Lives Matter, the Mi’kmaq fisheries dispute, and delays on the implementation on a national action plan to help stop the genocide of murdered and missing Indigenous women.

Talaga is considered a visionary for Canada’s reconciliation journey, with many awards and recognitions to her name. Based on her recent bestseller All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward, she has shared the message of the global Indigenous experience of spiritual disconnection in colonized nations during the 2018 Massey Lectures.

“We expect her talk to be eye-opening and difficult for some to hear, but ultimately necessary as a call to action that will lead to outcomes to provide actual lasting change for Indigenous peoples,” says Lychowyd. “Having this opportunity to share Tanya’s understanding and experience with our community is important to advance the work being done in our region.”

The March 4 Truth & Justice Speaker Series event will run from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through the Capitol Theatre website (Adult $15, Senior $10, Student $5). They will be available for purchase until March 3 at midnight. For more information go to: https://selkirk.ca/tanya-talaga