It's Time to Read Book Club

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) and the Wood Buffalo Regional Library (WBRL) welcome you to the It's Time to Read book club.

This book club features the works and voices of Indigenous authors to increase understanding and awareness of Indigenous culture, history, and current issues. Help us build bridges through books and advance reconciliation in the region.

All are welcome to join; however, it is important to note books may contain adult content, including but not limited to adult language and themes, and violence.

To join, visit the It's Time to Read Book Club on Facebook:

It's Time to Read Book Club

Books we've read

Half Bads in White Regalia

Explore an unforgettable debut memoir -- longlisted for Canada Reads 2023 and named one of the best books of the year by The Globe and Mail and CBC Books

Cody Caetano's bestselling debut unspools a tangled family history with warmth, humour, and deep generosity.

The Caetanos move into a doomed house in the highway village of Happyland before an inevitable divorce pulls Cody’s parents in separate directions. His mom, Mindimooye, having discovered her Anishinaabe birth family and Sixties Scoop origin story, embarks on a series of fraught relationships and fresh starts. His dad, O Touro, a Portuguese immigrant and drifter, falls back into “big do, little think” behaviour, despite his best intentions. Left alone at the house in Happyland, Cody and his siblings must fend for themselves, even as the pipes burst and the lights go out. 

In My Own Moccasins - Helen Knott

An unflinching memoir of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds of sexual assault from a resilient, emerging Indigenous voice.

Helen Knott, a highly accomplished Indigenous woman, seems to have it all. But in her memoir, she offers a different perspective. In My Own Moccasins is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption.

With gripping moments of withdrawal, times of spiritual awareness, and historical insights going back to the signing of Treaty 8 by her great-great grandfather, Chief Bigfoot, her journey exposes the legacy of colonialism, while reclaiming her spirit.

 Black Water - David A. Robertson
 

book coverBlack Water, is a memoir about intergenerational trauma and healing by David A. Robertson.

In this Governor General Award-Winning bestselling account, a son who grew up away from his Indigenous culture takes his Cree father on a trip to the family trapline and finds that revisiting the past not only heals old wounds but creates a new future.

 

About Author David A. Robertson - Black Water

The son of a Cree father and a white mother, David A. Robertson grew up with virtually no awareness of his Indigenous roots. His father, Dulas—or Don, as he became known—lived on the trapline in the bush in Manitoba, only to be transplanted permanently to a house on the reserve, where he couldn't speak his language, Swampy Cree, in school with his friends unless in secret. David's mother, Beverly, grew up in a small Manitoba town that had no Indigenous people until Don arrived as the new United Church minister. They married and had three sons, whom they raised unconnected to their Indigenous history.

David grew up without his father's teachings or any knowledge of his early experiences. All he had was “blood memory": the pieces of his identity ingrained in the fabric of his DNA, pieces that he has spent a lifetime putting together. It has been the journey of a young man becoming closer to who he is, who his father is and who they are together, culminating in a trip back to the trapline to reclaim their connection to the land.

 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act - Bob Joseph.

This essential guide is written by a leading cultural sensitivity trainer and is a key to understanding the legal document and its repercussion on generations of Indigenous Peoples.

Since its creation in 1876, the Indian Act has shaped, controlled, and constrained the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Peoples, and is at the root of many enduring stereotypes. Bob Joseph’s book comes at a key time in the reconciliation process, when awareness from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities is at a high point.

Joseph explains how Indigenous Peoples can step out from under the Indian Act and return to self-government, self-determination, and self-reliance – and why doing so would result in a better country for every Canadian. He dissects the complex issues around truth and reconciliation, and clearly demonstrates why learning about the Indian Act’s cruel, enduring legacy is essential for the country to move toward true reconciliation.

 The Strangers - Katherena Vermette.
Winner of the 2021 Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction, longlisted for the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and #1 Indigo Book of the Year, The Strangers is an intergenerational saga that explores how connected we are, even when we’re no longer together – even when we’re forced apart.

A breathtaking companion to her bestselling debut, The Break, Vermette’s The Strangers brings readers into the dynamic world of the Stranger family, the strength of their bond, the shared pain in their past, and the light that beckons from the horizon. This is a searing exploration of race, class, inherited trauma, and the matrilineal bonds that – despite everything – refuse to be broken.

You can read an excerpt of The Strangers here.

  • Please note, this book is not for young readers and may be triggering and unsuitable for other readers. The book contains disturbing content, including physical violence, drug and alcohol use and addiction, thoughts of suicide, child apprehension, solitary incarceration, as well as adult language. Please take care.
 Firekeeper's Daughter - Angeline Boulley

Firekeeper’s Daughter is a Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club YA Pick, an instant #1 New York Times Bestseller and soon to be adapted at Netflix for TV with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama's production company, Higher Ground.

Synopsis:

As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in—both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. When her family is struck by tragedy, Daunis puts her dreams on hold to care for her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming recruit on her brother’s hockey team.

After Daunis witnesses a shocking murder that thrusts her into a criminal investigation, she agrees to go undercover. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home. How far will she go to protect her community if it means tearing apart the only world she’s ever known?

 

Films we've watched

 nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up

This documentary captures a family’s fight for justice following the fatal 2016 shooting of a young Cree man, Colten Boushie, in Saskatchewan.

The case captured international attention, raising questions about racism embedded within Canada’s legal system and propelling Colten’s family to national and international stages in their pursuit of justice.

The documentary, directed by Tasha Hubbard, weaves a profound narrative encompassing the filmmaker’s own adoption, the stark history of colonialism on the Prairies, and a vision of a future where Indigenous children can live safely on their homelands.