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My Conversations with Canadians

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  178 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Harkening back to her first book tour at the age of 26 (for the autobiographical novel Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel), and touching down upon a multitude of experiences she's had as a Canadian, a First Nations leader, a woman and mother and grandmother over the course of her life, Lee Maracle's Conversations with Canadians presents a tour de force exploration into the writer's o ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 12th 2017 by Book Thug
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4.20  · 
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 ·  178 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Correy Baldwin
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
I had some trouble with this book, possibly because I was looking forward to it so much. It is presented as a series of conversations between Maracle and her Canadian readers, and yet these are not conversations; Maracle is frustrated, and this is her way of venting.

Her frustration is understandable: as a writer, she has confronted an array of troubling questions from her Canadian audiences over the years, from the well-intentioned to the outright racist. It is these questions that she is tackli
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Friederike Knabe
Lee Maracle is one of these thinkers and writers, who you want to meet and talk to from time to time at least. She is wise, highly knowledgeable and always thought provoking. The collection of essays, "My conversations with Canadians" is the next best experience to meeting Lee in person. They are perceptive, witty, sometimes ironic and provocative and always worth your reflection and self-questioning. Give yourself time to read these conversations one at a time, and then more than once.
Scott Neigh

A short, hard-hitting book by famous Sto:lo author Lee Maracle. In her many years as a novelist, sometime-performance poet, and all-around storyteller, she has spent a lot of time speaking with Canadians both in front of an audience and one-on-one. The pieces in this book start from the questions, ideas, and conversations she has most often had to reply to over those years. As such, it covers a lot of ground. The answers are blunt and clear and filled with hard truths that settlers need to hear.
Jane Mulkewich
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. When I finished it, my first reaction was that I wanted to read it again. I first started reading Lee Maracle's fiction over two decades ago, and this is her first book addressing directly those of us who are settlers, or non-indigenous Canadians, and it is straight talk that may be uncomfortable for some, and difficult to read. She talks about the need for us white settlers to give up our seat on the Knower's Chair (where we get to decide what is true knowledge), and she talk ...more
Imperative reading for Canadians. Maracle doesn't hold back in her correct critique of the colonial country of Canada. Tackling major topics like cultural appropriations, intersectionality, colonialism, decolonization and reconciliation, she outlines in a series of essays how Indigenous communities are still facing trauma and concerns that aren't being addressed...especially in the shadow of "Canada 150".
Brenda D
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I want to give Maracle's new book an "excellent" review as I learned a great deal, and I am tempted, however the book is inconsistent and in all honesty merited 3 stars for "I liked it". Her wisdom as a Sto:lo shines through and this is definitely worth the read (5 stars) however these moments were unfortunately intermingled with a mixed bag of beliefs and unsupported statements (presented as fact). Perhaps some of these statements are based in reality, it is difficult to say as there are no sou ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was very lucky to get a chance to meet Lee Maracle and hear her speak. As a orator, Maracle specializes in telling stories. Her voice is deep and her laugh infectious. Her writing is so similar I felt as though I was sitting across from her, listening as she told her stories. My Conversations with Canadians is a collection of prose essays written in conversational style directly addressing frequently asked questions by well-meaning white Canadians. Maracle doesn’t soften any blows with her cri ...more
Ben Truong
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My Conversations with Canadians is an anthology of personal essays by Lee Maracle. The theme of this anthology is a collection of personal essays about conversations that Lee Maracle had throughout her life as a Canadian, a First Nations leader, a woman, mother, and grandmother. It centers mainly on her thoughts of Indigenous matters and colonization. It has been short-listed for the 2018 Toronto Book Awards.

For the most part, I really like most of these contributions. My Conversations with Cana
marissa  sammy
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who aren't Manifest Destiny-loving racists
This is one of those books that takes a while to get through, not because of it being thick or confusing, but because the subjects that Maracle takes on are fraught with hundreds of years of genocide and its lasting repercussions.

Maracle also offers a point of view and analysis independent of anything taught at 'traditional' post-secondary institutions, which is a gift since the Indigenous truth of Canada -- the construct of white settlers, post-contact -- is rarely given a platform. Maracle is
Brian Decker
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book really challenged me to not only learn about the way Canada’s history and settler colonialism has shaped my own life, but the fundamental differences in the very way our protocols, laws, heuristics and traditions shape how we see the world. I am grateful for the way Lee Maracle’s writing, which frankly is a little all over the place in this book, actually served as a window into different perspectives based on her many conversations with Canadians like myself over the years. I had perh ...more
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Well, this was a difficult book to read. I could not help feeling really bad about myself, and not undeservedly so. As a second generation Canadian, even though I haven't directly participated in the colonization of North American indigenous people, I am guilty of unwittingly accepting my place in Canada with little thought to the true owners of the land.
Everything about this makes me sad.
While Maracle offers little hope and few concrete solutions, her last chapter offers a passage worthy of pr
Kelsey Hlavaty (readingwithkelsey)
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
Lee Maracle is a brilliant writer. When I finished this book, I wanted to turn it over and start rereading it all over again; I am looking forward to doing so that I may highlight all my favourite parts and quotes. It is both a conversation to Canadians as well as one AT Canadians. I think Maracle did a brilliant job being both engaging and informative, using the second person narration in a tone both light-hearted but never stops to soften the meaning behind her words. Her frustration shines an ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Passive aggressive writing.
If your mother is a nag. If you were in a locked room with your mother for hours. If you had lost your ability to speak, to rebut, to share, to reason... that’s what this book felt like. This is not a conversation, we are not REALLY invited to converse. We listen and abject, acquiesce, guilt.
Frankly, Lee, I would love to converse with you. I just don’t quite believe you can. Converse.
Your blood and culture runs through my veins and history. But you so clearly exclude
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Vignettes of her interactions with non-indigenous people, particularly framed through interactions at readings of her work; and her emotions, motivations, and conversations, related to her observations about the history of relationships, and indigenous perspectives since the coming of Europeans. Parts of it are challenging reading. Provides some excellent examples of what informs her perspectives. I have not read any of her other published works, nor known about readings in my local area.

Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book kicked my ass. It’s challenging to read, and it’s uncomfortable to read, process and accept. Im glad I read it as I find my way in coming to know Indigenous ways of thinking and my role as colonizer.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I recommend that Canadians have this conversation with Lee Maracle. This book helped me understand Indigenous knowledge in a way I have not known before and wish I had.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is am important and interesting read.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Some real reflection on colonialism and moving on.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
such a great book. A really great explanation of literary and intellectual cultural appropriation. A must read for "Canadians".
Lee Bertsch
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
A blunt, eye-opening statement of how colonization is experienced by the colonized. I suspect though that Maracle’s is not the only Indigenous perspective today.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'll be reflecting on the content of this book for a while.
Kathleen Scott
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I learned so very much from this book. It is a must read.
short on pages but dense in rethinking ideas. I'm totally with her last essay on the necessity of dance and singing for health.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a must read for all Canadians. It's a collection of short essays addressing a wide number of topics including appropriation, colonization, intersectionality, education and traditional knowledge, feminism and trauma. The prose is very readable and conversation-like and Maracle answers many different questions she has been asked by white Canadians over the years she has toured across the country as a musician or as writer. Her conversation is refreshingly honest and she doesn't mince ...more
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Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, she grew up in the neighbouring city of North Vancouver and attended Simon Fraser University. She was one of the first Aboriginal people to be published in the early 1970s.

Maracle is one of the most prolific aboriginal authors in Canada and a recognized authority on issues pertaining to aboriginal people and aboriginal literature. She is an award-winning poet,