In a few days, I will travel to Toronto for the Creative NonFiction Collective Conference. May 4 – 6. On the Saturday, I will be giving a workshop with Waubgeshig Rice, an Anishinaabe journalist and author. The subject? Building Bridges: Narrative and the Relationship Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Canadians.
I met Waubgeshig last June at the TWUC (The Writers Union of Canada) conference in Vancouver. We began a conversation on cultural appropriation, reconciliation, and how we still have a long way to go. We both agreed we want to be part of the journey. Waubgeshig grew up on Wasauksing First Nation in Ontario and has been a writer since the age of seventeen when he reported on his year-long adventure as an exchange student in Germany.
We are looking forward to a lively discussion on the role of writers and their unique opportunity as storytellers to help heal Canada’s deepest wound.
Then on May 7 I will be giving a reading from Whale in the Door at the Toronto Public Library, Yorkville Branch – the oldest library in Toronto built in 1903. The reading is part of their series, Our Fragile Planet. Alanna Mitchell, award-winning journalist and author of Seasick: The Global Ocean in Crisis, will moderate.
Alanna’s powerful book was transformed into a remarkable play. Friends have told me how people leapt to their feet after her performance. I’m looking forward to swapping theatre stories with Alanna and talking about Howe Sound/Atl’kitsem, the state of the ocean, and why we should still be optimistic that humans will do right by our precious one and only planet.