Libraries Co-Sponsor Talk From Canada Reads Finalist
Queen’s University Library (QUL) and Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL) have partnered to host a talk from celebrated organizer, activist, and Canada Reads shortlist author Clayton Thomas-Müller on March 23, 2022. The event will take place via Zoom and will be followed by a 15-minute question and answer session. The event is free and anyone wishing to attend is invited to register through the KFPL website to reserve their spot. In addition, QUL librarians have created an excellent Featured Collection of works focused on Indigenous environmental justice and activism to compliement the event, and provide helpful suggestions to anyone seeking to further explore these topics.
During this event Clayton will discuss a selection of topics, including the urban Indigenous experiences throughout Canada, and environmental advocacy and land rights across Canada and the United States. His book, Life in The City of Dirty Water is one of five on the 2022 Canada Reads shortlist to be championed by a celebrity in a “literary survivor” style event where panelists vote to eliminate one book each day until a title every Canadian should read this year is selected.
The Winnipeg Free Press had high praise for both book and author: “In [Thomas-Muller’s] latest memoir, Life in the City of Dirty Water, he painfully and bravely reveals his journey through catastrophic pain, unbelievable odds and a reconnection to land, language and culture through his work defending Mother Earth. . His memoir is an artefact of transformation—a transformation of a hardened youth who endured more tragedy and danger than most of us can imagine into a defender of people, land and the notion that all species and systems are connected.”
“We are excited and fortunate to have Clayton speak with our community,” shared Jake Miller, Librarian, Adult Programming, KFPL. “His advocacy for land and environmental rights, along with his lived experiences in urban and rural Indigenous communities, gives a panoramic perspective on the situations of Indigenous peoples in North America. His roles as a filmmaker, author and social organizer show that there’s so much more to come from Clayton Thomas-Müller.”
Queen’s Vice Provost and University Librarian Mark Asberg shared Miller’s enthusiasm: “This event, and the book which inspired it, are valuable opportunities to engage with and learn from issues that have shaped history, and which continue to impact communities and discourse today. Presenting these issues through the lens of Clayton’s experience and celebrated body of work is something we’re extremely grateful to be able to do.”
Clayton Thomas-Müller is a member of the Treaty #6 based Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, also known as Pukatawagan located in Northern Manitoba. His work has taken him across Canada, Alaska and the lower 48 states organizing in hundreds of First Nations, Alaska Native, and Native American communities to support Indigenous Peoples defending their territories, and is an advocate for environmental justice.
Canada Reads first aired as a radio show in 2002. In 2010, the program shifted to live shows in studio with audiences. Today, Canada Reads is broadcast on CBC Radio, CBC-TV and cbcbooks.ca.
Canada Reads also gets people buying books. The first winner, Michael Ondaatje's In the Skin of a Lion, sold 70,000 copies after the show, years after the novel was first published. Since then, every winning book has become a national bestseller, and in recent years, all five books have become bestsellers.