This book speaks to one of Canada’s greatest wrongs and its lasting impact on generations of people, related and otherwise. It is a story of how institutionalized bigotry has shaped Canada’s relationship with its First Nations Peoples. It exposes a dark, and until recently, hidden chapter in Canadian history, that of Indian Residential Schools; the effects of which the Canadian Government now acknowledges as being “profoundly negative.”
This story follows the lives of four people and how they come to intertwine in Canada’s poorest neighborhood. Two residential school survivors, who in the aftermath of their incarceration are struggling to adapt to a society that demanded they change, yet shuns them anyway, and two paramedics who are also grappling with the demons of their pasts. Divided by class, race, and a uniform, they each have more in common than any of them suspect.
Based on moving personal testimonies given to the author by residential school survivors living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and the author’s career as a paramedic working in that neighborhood, this is a story of love and loss, and of longing and renewal, one that challenges us to see others, and ourselves, in a new light.
After graduating from the Justice Institute of British Columbia’s Paramedic Academy, the author spent the majority of her fifteen-year medical career working in Vancouver’s infamous Downtown Eastside. In this her first novel, she delves into the lives, and histories, of the people she came to know while working as a paramedic in Canada’s poorest neighborhood.