Seeing past the Canada Myth
An afternoon of Truth Telling and Conversation with Michelle Good
Cree author, lawyer and poet Michelle Good, in conversation with
University of Fraser Valley Assistant Professor Mark Kersten
22 November 2023
2pm – 4pm
The University of the Fraser Valley is honoured to host a conversation with Cree author, lawyer, and poet Michelle Good, and her latest book, Truth Telling: Seven Conversations About Indigenous Life in Canada. The event will take place, on the unceded territories of the Halq’eméylem-speaking Stó:lō Peoples (People of the River), who have occupied this land since time immemorial.
The conversation with Good will explore her work and continuous efforts through law and literature to reveal the long-standing and ongoing impact of colonial violence, including Canada’s starvation and land policies, Indian Residential School System, the Sixties Scoop, and the murder of Indigenous women and girls. It will also survey Good’s own story, which she has generously shared in her book, as well as what non-Indigenous Canadians, including at universities across the country, can do to further justice, truth, and ultimately reconciliation.
What truths need telling and how do we get the right people to not just hear, but listen to them?
About Michelle Good
Michelle Good is a Cree writer and a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. After working for Indigenous organizations for twenty-five years, she obtained a law degree and advocated for residential school survivors for over fourteen years. Good earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia while still practising law and managing her own law firm. Her poems, short stories, and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies across Canada, and her poetry was included on two lists of the best Canadian poetry in 2016 and 2017.
Five Little Indians, her first novel, won the HarperCollins/UBC Best New Fiction Prize, the Amazon First Novel Award, the Governor General’s Literary Award the Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Award, the Evergreen Award, the City of Vancouver Book of the Year Award, and Canada Reads 2022. It was also longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a finalist for the Writer’s Trust Award, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the Jim Deva Prize for Writing that Provokes. On October 7, 2022 Simon Fraser University granted her an Honorary Doctor of Letters. Her new work, Truth Telling: Seven Conversations about Indigenous life in Canada was released May 30, 2023.
Truth Telling is a collection of essays about the contemporary Indigenous experience in Canada. From resistance and reconciliation to the resurgence and reclamation of Indigenous power, Michelle Good explores the issues through a series of personal essays. With authority, intelligence and insight, Michelle Good delves into the human cost of colonialism, showing how it continues to underpin social institutions in Canada and prevents meaningful and substantive reconciliation.