Must Read for All Humans
A beautiful graphic novel anthology taking the reader through the history of colonialism on Turtle Island. Featuring ten stories by First Nations authors, starting at Confederation and continuing beyond the present into a hopeful future.
This Place: 150 Years Retold provides hope and gives positive, accurate representations to Indigenous people and forces colonizers to examine the impacts our ancestors have had and we continue to have on the lives of Indigenous people. The incredible choices by Highwater Press and design by Relish New Brand Experience creates an thought-provoking collection of stories with timelines and context and history, really bringing into focus the role of Europeans in the apocalypse faced by First Nations. Classified as a Teen Graphic Fiction book, this anthology needs to find its way into history classrooms and school libraries in not only high schools but middle schools as well. Our middle grade children are more than capable of learning from the lessons in this book and learning the history of Canada’s colonial system of eradication in the name of progress. I don’t know about you but when I was learning history, first I never learned about the Indian Residential School system and second I found history to be quite dull and dry. I just didn’t really care about things that happened in the past when I couldn’t really see the impact of history on my day to day life in a small Ontario town. If we can provide our children and students with more interesting and engaging mediums to learn history and when we can provide concrete connections to how the past seeked to destroy First People and how the decisions of the past are still affecting the future of First Nations to live their way of life, to thrive and be seen as important stewards of the land. We also need to examine and connect this past to our future as human beings, how this history will effect the human world’s future.
As contributor David A. Robertson so accurately says in the introduction to his story Peggy, “[Comics] often serve as an introduction, and it is up to the reader to continue learning.” This Place: 150 Years Retold forces us as colonizers to continue to learn, to continue to educate ourselves and continue to strive towards a future where colonizers and First Nations can live in harmony. A place where everyone has what they need to find success and a time when we can learn from each other as equals