Truth Telling: Seven Conversations about Indigenous Life in Canada (Hardcover)
#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
FINALIST for the Writers’ Trust Balsillie Prize for Public Policy
A bold, provocative collection of essays exploring the historical and contemporary Indigenous experience in Canada.
With authority and insight, Truth Telling examines a wide range of Indigenous issues framed by Michelle Good’s personal experience and knowledge.
From racism, broken treaties, and cultural pillaging, to the value of Indigenous lives and the importance of Indigenous literature, this collection reveals facts about Indigenous life in Canada that are both devastating and enlightening. Truth Telling also demonstrates the myths underlying Canadian history and the human cost of colonialism, showing how it continues to underpin modern social institutions in Canada.
Passionate and uncompromising, Michelle Good affirms that meaningful and substantive reconciliation hinges on recognition of Indigenous self-determination, the return of lands, and a just redistribution of the wealth that has been taken from those lands without regard for Indigenous peoples.
Truth Telling is essential reading for those looking to acknowledge the past and understand the way forward.
MICHELLE GOOD is a writer of Cree ancestry and a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. After three decades of working with Indigenous communities and organizations, she obtained her law degree. She earned her MFA in creative writing at UBC while still practising law. Her novel, Five Little Indians, was nominated for the Writers’ Trust Award for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. It received the HarperCollinsPublishersLtd/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction, the Amazon First Novel Award, the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Five Little Indians was also chosen for Canada Reads in 2022. Michelle Good’s poems, short stories and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies across Canada.
“With blistering clarity, Michelle Good exposes the contradictions at the heart of Canada, but also imagines beyond them, setting out a specific vision for an Indigenous future governed by us. Good’s essays, woven with personal testimony, are deeply researched and traverse great swaths of history and policy; they are also very rousing and moving. No Canadian can feign ignorance of the Indigenous struggle when this book is within arm’s reach.”
— Billy-Ray Belcourt, author of A Minor Chorus
"Good reminds us what the truth in Truth and Reconciliation actually requires of all of us: Indigenous peoples and Canadians. Addressing storytelling and historical myth-making, this book would have changed my nineteen-year-old world had it been available and rendered normative for my teachers. Good’s work is formidable, elemental and reminiscent of Cardinal’s Unjust Society. This work, should be required reading for every Canadian. Smart, generous and insightful. 'There is no such thing as Crown Land. It is all Indigenous land.' Good writes. This truth resonates. Serves notice: it is time." — Dr. Tracey Lindberg, Law Professor, author of Birdie
“Truth Telling is at once heartfelt, instructive, and authentic, expertly exploring the key issues that have shaped the Indigenous reality in Canada.… This collection is an indispensable resource.” — Waubgeshig Rice, author of Moon of the Crusted Snow
“As Canadians search for a national approach to reconciliation... this book reminds us of how we arrived at this moment.…[and] is the kind of reference that will help us navigate our fraught journey.” — Dr. Eldon Yellowhorn, Professor of Indigenous Studies, Simon Fraser University
“Truth Telling is a powerful, urgent, and necessary book that gets to the heart of true reconciliation and maps a course for achieving it. Bridging personal stories and lived experiences with sharp historical analysis, Michelle Good’s writing is both beautiful and heartbreaking. Honest, forthright, and powerful, Truth Telling offers insights and analysis that every policymaker and politician—indeed, any person who calls Canada “home”— can and must read. Urgently.” — 2023 Balsillie Prize for Public Policy Jury