Valley of the Birdtail

An Indian Reserve, a White Town, and the Road to Reconciliation

by Andrew Stobo Sniderman, Douglas Sanderson

On Sale: 08/30/2022

Valley of the Birdtail

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Valley of the Birdtail

An Indian Reserve, a White Town, and the Road to Reconciliation

by Andrew Stobo Sniderman, Douglas Sanderson

On Sale: 08/30/2022

Format:

About the Book

A heart-rending true story about racism and reconciliation

Divided by a beautiful valley and 150 years of racism, the town of Rossburn and the Waywayseecappo Indian reserve have been neighbours nearly as long as Canada has been a country. Their story reflects much of what has gone wrong in relations between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Canadians. It also offers, in the end, an uncommon measure of hope.

Valley of the Birdtail is about how two communities became separate and unequal—and what it means for the rest of us. In Rossburn, once settled by Ukrainian immigrants who fled poverty and persecution, family income is near the national average and more than a third of adults have graduated from university. In Waywayseecappo, the average family lives below the national poverty line and less than a third of adults have graduated from high school, with many haunted by their time in residential schools.

This book follows multiple generations of two families, one white and one Indigenous, and weaves their lives into the larger story of Canada. It is a story of villains and heroes, irony and idealism, racism and reconciliation. Valley of the Birdtail has the ambition to change the way we think about our past and show a path to a better future.

Critical Praise

"Meticulously researched and written with compassion, Valley of the Birdtail draws two parallel lines hopelessly distant, and then shows us a pathway through which they can come together. It’s a work of trauma, of broken relationships, of how we perceive one another, but ultimately, it’s a story of possibility and healing." — David A. Robertson, author of Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory

"This is a magnificent book. It’s a new history of Canada, as lived in two communities—Rossburn and Waywayseecappo—who shared the same valley but never lived the same reality. I am haunted by what I learned and touched by the hope that these communities can teach us all how to live together in peace and justice. A truly extraordinary achievement: peeling back the layers of the history, searching through the records, but never once losing the characters, the detail, the grit of lives lived. I'm just so impressed." — Michael Ignatieff, author of On Consolation: Finding Solace in Dark Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443466301
  • ISBN 10: 1443466301
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 08/30/2022
  • Pages: 384
  • List Price:36.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : SOCIAL SCIENCE / Indigenous Studies
  • BISAC2 : BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Native Americans
  • BISAC3 : HISTORY / Canada / General

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