By ANDREA PALFRAMAN
RAVEN and the Salt Spring Public Library are joining forces for an evening with journalist and author Angela Sterritt, in conversation with Cowichan educator Maiya Modeste (of the Stqeeye’ Learning Society) about Sterritt’s new book, Unbroken. The event is Tuesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. at ArtSpring, with an option for livestream viewing from home.
Though the topic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited (MMIWG2S) people is heavy, Sterritt’s storytelling is incredibly life-affirming. As much as Unbroken is a story of her investigations, frustrations and discoveries, it is also a story about the making of a new kind of journalistic approach and career. By sharing her personal journey, Sterritt invites us to bear witness to the beautiful unfolding of an Indigenous woman emerging from trauma, who through her advocacy and her empathy, becomes a healer.
Bestselling author Tanya Talaga says, “Sterritt’s story is living proof of how courageous Indigenous women are. Listen to her voice and hear the sound of the land, hear the sound of our women weeping but also raging — refusing to be neglected or ignored any longer.”
Unbroken takes a rigorous and unflinching look at the failures of colonial institutions — from the overt genocidal policies of residential schools, to the neglectful incompetence of the social services ministry, police and those charged to protect women, girls and two-spirit peoples.
But the book does not leave readers there.
Sterritt points to the strength, wisdom and power of survivors, and to a new generation of uncompromising leaders who are demanding that we all do better when it comes to protecting those who are most oppressed, and preventing the violence that must never become “just a set of statistics.” Through a broad cast of characters, she reminds us that the human beings at the heart of the MMIWG2S crisis are possessed of solutions, innovations and resiliency that — when they are listened to and centred within the larger story — show a way forward grounded in respect and healing.
Funds from tickets and the sale of books will be generously donated to RAVEN, an organization that raises legal defence funds for Indigenous nations’ access to justice.