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Canada: Lessons Learned Reading From The Ashes: My Story of Being Métis, Homeless and Finding My Way by Jesse Thistle

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I warmly recommend this book to everyone. This autobiography tells how Professor Thistle, a Scottish Métis-Cree from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, born in 1976, survived to be able to write this remarkable book. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Métis Studies at York University in Toronto. He won the Governor General’s Academic Medal in 2016 and is a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Scholar and Vanier Scholar.

I think this is a wonderful book for developing an understanding of homelessness. I also think it’s a great window to see the complex family dynamics of love, hurt, betrayal, dedication, and connection., which are present in many families.

The prose is easy to read; content less. It covers poverty, abandonment, intergenerational trauma, substance abuse, interactions with the criminal justice system, and the bureaucracy involved in trying to get medical assistance. It encompasses not only the stories of heartbreaking indifference and cruelty he has faced, but also the acts of kindness he received at critical times in his life.

I have found it extremely helpful to remember the ending, which demonstrates resilience. In fact, as I read the book, I went back and forth to keep this end result in mind.

I really hope you get as much from this book as I do.

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