Libraries are reporting a spike in interest in Indignenous stories. Who would have thought: it turns out when you give Indigenous authors the same front table exposure as everyone else, the books move. I want to say that the Canadian people are interested in the Indigenous perspective, but the cynic in me says it’s not Canadians, but Canadians who read. And that in turn makes illustrates how much of this is an education issue. The critical thinker wants to learn more about what it doesn’t understand. The non-critical thinker wants to leave awful comments on CBC articles. Hey, Justin, do you hear this? Who’s going to vote for you in the next election? The commentors or the readers? Perhaps neither if you keep choking the life out of our Indigenous brothers’ and sisters’ lands.
At the Toronto Public Library, collections manager Michele Melady says she has noticed a spike in interest for books like The Marrow Thieves by Métis author Cherie Dimaline and Seven Fallen Feathers by Anishinaabe writer Tanya Talaga.
Anna Comfort O’Keeffe, publisher at Douglas & McIntyre, says eight of her company’s top 10 books are written by Indigenous authors like Richard Wagamese.
“That’s what people want to read right now,” she said.
O’Keeffe says there has been such a proliferation of Indigenous writing that BookNet Canada, which serves the book industry, is revising international standards to include new classifications like Indigenous poetry.