This fall, RISE Book Club is reading NISHGA, a groundbreaking, deeply personal, and devastating autobiographical meditation that attempts to address the complicated legacies of Canada's residential school system and contemporary Indigenous existence.
Over the next seven weeks, we will be posting sections of reading and questions to consider here. You can follow along with us or read ahead. Then, you are invited to join us virtually for a group discussion and chance to hear from the author on October 20th at 7:00 PM.
The event will be held virtually and space is limited. As a result, only those who register with their name and email will receive the Zoom link to participate.
This online event is free to attend; however, advance registration is required. To register, please submit your name and email address. The link and other instructions needed to join the event will be emailed to you by 5 p.m. on the day of the event.
For mental health support, RISE recommends Hope for Wellness.
More About The Book
As a Nisga'a writer, Jordan Abel often finds himself in a position where he is asked to explain his relationship to Nisga'a language, Nisga'a community, and Nisga'a cultural knowledge. However, as an intergenerational survivor of residential school - both of his grandparents attended the same residential school - his relationship to his own Indigenous identity is complicated to say the least.
NISHGA explores those complications and is invested in understanding how the colonial violence originating at the Coqualeetza Indian Residential School impacted his grandparents' generation, then his father's generation, and ultimately his own. The project is rooted in a desire to illuminate the realities of intergenerational survivors of residential school, but sheds light on Indigenous experiences that may not seem to be immediately (or inherently) Indigenous.
Drawing on autobiography and a series of interconnected documents (including pieces of memoir, transcriptions of talks, and photography), NISHGA is a book about confronting difficult truths and it is about how both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples engage with a history of colonial violence that is quite often rendered invisible.