Reflecting on an evening with Angela Sterritt and her memoir, “Unbroken”

Last night 200 people gathered on the unceded territories of the SENĆOŦEN and Hul’qumi’num speaking peoples (Salt Spring Island), at ArtSpring for a live discussion with Angela Sterritt about her new book Unbroken: My Fight for Survival, Hope and Justice for Indigenous Women and Girls. RAVEN was honoured to host this event in collaboration with the Salt Spring Island Public Library and Salt Spring Books, who are kindly donating proceeds from book sales to RAVEN.

Angela Sterritt is an award winning journalist, writer and artist from Gitxsan Nation. She has worked as a journalist for almost 20 years.  In her bestselling memoir she shares her personal story of growing up as an Indigenous woman in order to frame and highlight the systemic issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

“I thought unbroken would be a flop. I didn’t think it would become a national bestseller at all. I had no idea it would become this popular.”

 – Angela Sterritt

We are grateful to support in shining a light on MMIWG2S and the devastating, ongoing toll that colonial violence exacts on Indigenous communities. This is not generally an issue that can be litigated: yet RAVEN is involved organizationally in the struggle.

In February 2020, the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs  launched a legal action requesting a judicial review of the approval of the Coastal Gas Link pipeline,  based on multiple permit violations by the company, along with a failure to implement recommendations of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls. RAVEN is supporting this case by fundraising so the Nation has access to justice to bring their concerns before the courts. The inquiry found there is “substantial evidence” that natural resource projects increase violence against Indigenous women and children and two-spirit individuals.

“People always ask me, ‘what we can do to help, who can we lift up?’ When you read my book you can learn about who have been the protectors, who have been the police, who have been knocking on the doors, who have been searching: it’s the family members. And we rarely hear about that. These family members need to be uplifted and supported.”

 – Angela Sterritt

We live in a time when Indigenous ways of knowing and being are being recognized and celebrated more and more. We are also — as calls from Indigenous leaders in Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver attest  — living in a present where the family members of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirited (MMIWG2S) peoples have to endure being cynically devalued in their bid to get leaders & police to search for their loved ones.  How, in the wake of genocide, moving against an undertow of neglect and violence,  can we find ways to support one another to find justice, to heal, while centreing truth and wisdom? 

To hear more from Angela, catch her incredibly tough, brilliant Land Back podcast. In the latest episode, she pulls together land defenders, activists, Indigenous legal experts and community leaders and brings their questions directly to Mark Miller, when he was federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous relations.

Pick up a copy of Unbroken at your favourite independent booksteller!

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