Seven Fallen Feathers
Written by Tanya Talaga
Published in 2017 by House of Anansi
In her award-winning book, Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, journalist Tanya Talaga explores the deaths of seven Indigenous high school students in Thunder Bay, Ontario. All of these students came to Thunder Bay to attend high school because their home communities did not offer secondary education. They were far from the supports of home, living in a new city and navigating their new-found independence.
Through meticulous research, Talaga honours the life of each of these teens by telling their story. Each narrative is interwoven with the voices of family and friends left behind to cope with grief, loss, and unanswered questions. In telling these stories, Tanya Talaga also explores the political, social, and historical context of the experiences of Indigenous teens and their families who make the difficult decision to leave their home communities to attend high school. As Talaga describes, “Their disappearances and deaths signified everything wrong in the relationship between Canada and the Indigenous people” (p. 22).
Introducing the Author:
Learn more about Tanya Talaga here.
Learning More About the Book:
Read these reviews of Seven Fallen Feathers:
Read this conversation between Carol Off and Tanya Talaga.
Listen to this CBC Radio interview with Tanya Talaga.
Watch thisAPTN Face to Face interviewwith Tanya Talaga.
Watch thisTVO The Agenda interviewwith Tanya Talaga.
Read this Ryerson Review of Journalism interview with Tanya Talaga.
Read Tanya Talaga’s article about the Christian Morrisseau painting that is depicted on the cover of the book.
Explore the Seven Fallen Feathers discussion guide developed by Amnesty International.
Developing Background Knowledge:
Educators who would like to know more about residential schools in Canada can start with these sources: