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Authors band together to fight threatened Indigenous curriculum in Ontario

Cherie Dimaline is donating copies of her bestseller The Marrow Thieves to Ontario public schools

Canadian Indigenous authors are standing up to Ontario’s Ministry of Education. In the wake of the cancellation of sessions to update how Indigenous issues are taught in the public-school curriculum, writers Cherie Dimaline, Monique Gray Smith, and Tracey Lindberg have pledged to donate their books to classrooms.

“I have exactly 20 copies of The Marrow Thieves in my house,” Dimaline wrote on Twitter. “If there is an Ontario teacher that wants to teach it and cannot now purchase copies, you are welcome to them.” Soon, her publisher, Cormorant Books, had committed 100 additional copies and Penguin Random House Canada CEO Kristin Cochrane committed to purchasing 50 copies on behalf of public schools.

“Following the loving Cherie Dimaline’s lead,” B.C. writer Tracey Lindberg tweeted, “I would like to adopt two classrooms for the fall. Each will receive copies of my book Birdie, Skype teaching and discussion sessions, and teacher’s guides for the book.” She went on to pledge her support for one urban and one rural school.

Victoria-based author Monique Gray Smith was similarly inspired. “Following the leadership of @cherie_dimaline I have 20 copies of #SpeakingOurTruth available for an Ontario #teacher who wants them to use in their #class and #school,” she tweeted.

Lindberg called for the movement to be taken up by Indigenous allies in Ontario and beyond.


A spokesperson for Ontario Education Minister Lisa Thompson told the Toronto Star that they would move forward with updating the curriculum in adherence to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission though the government has not yet announced a plan.