Speaking Our Truth

Written by Monique Gray Smith

Published September 19, 2018 by Orca Book Publishers (Links to an external site.)

“In this book, we are embarking on a journey of reconciliation. This isn’t a read-and-do-nothing kind of book. It is an active exploration of Canada’s collective history, our present and our future. It’s about how we grow as individuals, families, communities and as a country. For some of you, this may be a time of significant change in your understanding of Canada’s history. It might be the first time you’ve thought about what reconciliation means and, more specifically, what it means to you and what your role in it is.  Simply reading this book is an act of reconciliation.”

This is how Monique Gray Smith welcomes readers to Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation and invites them to join her on a journey of reconciliation. The book is divided into four sections: Welcome to the JourneyHonesty: Where Have We Come FromLove: Where Do We Stand Today, and Kindness and Reciprocity: Where Do We Go from Here. Within each section, readers experience a powerful combination of factual information, personal stories from a variety of voices and perspectives, and invitations to reflect. A range of text features support readers’ learning of new vocabulary and concepts. Gray Smith’s warm welcoming tone engages readers from beginning to end.

Speaking Our Truth closes with a call to action. Readers are inspired to consider how they can become part of Canada’s reconciliation journey. In Gray Smith’s words, “There is no right or wrong answer, but please, when you have finished this book, find a new way or ways to stay on the journey!”

Introducing the Author:

 Visit Monique Gray Smith’s website  and author bio page.

Read this Canadian Teacher Magazine interview (Links to an external site.) with Monique Gray Smith.

Learning More About the Book:

Read these reviews of Speaking Our Truth:

 (Links to an external site.)

Read this Quill and Quire article (Links to an external site.) about why Orca published Speaking Our Truth.

Read this interview (Links to an external site.) with Monique Gray Smith.

Explore the additional resources available on the Orca website (Links to an external site.).

Watch these videos (Links to an external site.) of Monique Gray Smith talking about Speaking Our Truth and her experiences writing it.

Watch Monique Gray Smith’s TED Talk,Resilience and the Power of One (Links to an external site.), in which she describes the Umbrella of Indigenous Resiliency (found on page 32) in more detail.

Watch Monique Gray Smith’s presentation at the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education (Links to an external site.),The Drumbeat of Reconciliation (Links to an external site.).


Developing Background Knowledge:


Educators who would like to know more about residential schools in Canada can start with these sources.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (Links to an external site.)

Residential Schools in Canada Education Guide (Links to an external site.)

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (University of Manitoba)

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