Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation

Bolen Books Children's Book Prize
About this Work 

In Speaking Our Truth, we are embarking on a journey of reconciliation. This isn’t a read-and-do-nothing kind of book. It is an active exploration of Canada’s collective history, our present and our future. It’s about how we grow as individuals, families, communities and as a country.

For some of you, this may be a time of significant change in your understanding of Canada’s history. It might be the first time you’ve thought about what reconciliation means and, more specifically, what it means to you and what your role in it is. Simply reading Speaking Our Truth is an act of reconciliation. So, good on you! I welcome you all to the journey.

Orca Book Publishers
Jurors' Citation 

Thoughtful and compassionate, Monique Gray Smith’s Speaking our Truth addresses the complex issues surrounding both the history and the ongoing relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples of Canada. Using historical background and multi-generational oral narrative, it provides the opportunity for young readers to begin their own journey of understanding and reconciliation. The jury was particularly struck by the care Gray Smith shows for both her subjects and her readers, offering moments to pause and reflect on what is being said, and providing concrete suggestions for ways to deepen our engagement and understanding.

Monique Gray Smith

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed-heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry and a proud mom of twins. Monique is an accomplished consultant, writer and international speaker. Her first novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature. Monique and her family are blessed to live on Lekwungen territory in Victoria, British Columbia.