The book doesn’t publish for another week (Sept. 30th), but the award nominations for Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga are already rolling in.
Yesterday, Sept. 20th, Seven Fallen Feathers was longlisted for the 2017 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction! This is just the start for Tanya — there are sure to be many more nominations to follow. The Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction is “awarded for literary excellence in the category of nonfiction” with the winning book demonstrating “a distinctive voice, as well as a persuasive and compelling command of tone, narrative, style, and technique.” Congratulations, Tanya! We’re crossing all our fingers and toes for you! View the full shortlist here.
About Seven Fallen Feathers
In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.
More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau’s grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang’s. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie’s death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water.
Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.