Why Correcting the Wrongs Against “Our” Indigenous Peoples May Never Happen

From October 20—22, 2017, the Stratford Writers Festival will take over Stratford, Ontario, as some of Canada’s top literary and creative talents come together for this unique three-day festival. With the festival rapidly approaching, we caught up with moderator (and soon to be author) Candy Palmater to ask her a few questions about the importance of Indigenous literature, and why literary festivals are important to the Canadian artistic community.

To hear more from Candy, click here to purchase tickets to see her moderate the upcoming History and the Need to Heal panel with 2017 Giller Prize shortlisted author Eden Robinson, Lee Maracle, and Drew Hayden Taylor.

At the Stratford Writers Festival, you will be moderating a panel entitled “History and the Need to Heal.” In your opinion, can Canada ever truly heal from past wrongs against our Indigenous peoples?  

Well, first, there is a problem with the question. You should not use “our” Indigenous people. I pointed this out during the Canada Reads Competition last year and I was thrilled to see that Lee Maracle also provided a great analysis for it in her book that will be featured at this festival.

What is the key to getting more Indigenous literature into the hands of Canadians?

A will among Canadians to read Indigenous literature.

Why do you feel it’s important to meet readers at events such as the Stratford Writers Festival? 

Any event that encourages the exchange of ideas and examines the written word is important for the cultural fabric of our nation.

What is your favourite part about attending writers festivals or literary events?

At the risk of sounding like a fan-crazed teenager, for me the best part of literary festivals is meeting, in person, authors whom I’ve loved through their words.

Are you working on any projects right now?

I am booked solid with speaking engagements, but when not on the road I am working hard on my first book: a memoir that will be released by Harper Collins in the spring of 2019.


To hear more, don’t miss Candy’s panel entitled History and the Need to Heal on Saturday, October 21, 2017, at 3:00 pm at the Stratford Writers Festival. See you there!

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