Increasingly, First Nations issues such as the suicide crisis in Attawapiskat, the results of the Truth and Reconciliation report and increased federal government funding to deal with these issues are headlining the news almost daily.
Into this myriad of voices comes a small anthology that brings a different perspective to these issues. First Nations Christian Writers – Volume 1 features 16 writers, from 14 year old Joshua Heath to two 78 year olds: Bernard Mason and Sylvia Polson. The diversity of writers from a variety of First Nations tribes and communities, ranging from Point Pelee, Ontario in the south to Cross Lake, Manitoba in the North, is one of the book’s strengths.
Most of the stories and poems are first-hand accounts, like Joshua’s look at the effects of the foster care system on his life or Mason’s account of how God answered his prayer a successful hunt in order to feed his family. Other stories look at some of the key issues facing First Nations people from both their ethnic and spiritual perspectives such as 19-year-old Naomi Peters submission, look at the missing and murdered women and Benjamin Paul’s experiences in a residential school.
The diversity of writers, with a wide-range of writing experience from novice to experienced, does make the flow in this anthology slightly uneven at times. While this can make it a bit difficult to read, it’s worth the effort. And don’t let the slimness of First Nations Christian Writers – Volume 1 fool you. There’s a lot to digest in those 80 pages.
For more information on First Nations Christian Writers – Volume 1 check http://goldrockpress.com
To listen to an interview with First Nations Christian Writers – Volume 1 editor, Dorene Meyer, go to http://tinyurl.com/jdm2snz