On June 11th, 2008 the Prime Minister of Canada offered a public apology for the atrocities that occurred in Indian Residential Schools. It followed on the heels of the Australian Prime Minister’s Apology for Forgotten Australians on November 16, 2009. Both of these apologies and public acknowledgments opened a door for the world to better understand our history as Indigenous people, its continued ripple effect and our desire to create a new legacy for our children and future generations. These apologies have also served to foster a greater sense of empathy towards Indigenous peoples and supported the breakdown of cultural divides and misunderstandings.
The soon to be released Hope, Faith & Empathy is a timely book that bridges the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures and appeals to readers from all walks of life. Hope, Faith & Empathy is a moving and inspiring story of a mixed heritage Indigenous woman (Cree, Lakota and Scottish) and the people she meets along her healing journey from teenage alcoholism to successful business woman, International speaker and mother of twins.
The tradition of teaching and healing through storytelling comes alive in this modern-day story that is rich with Indigenous wisdom, humour and thought-provoking teachings. It provides insight into the Indigenous worldview and unique ways of being, knowing, seeing and learning in the world. Through the resiliency of the characters and embedded within the stories they tell, are metaphors for life that are relevant to all who are interested in creating a more caring, civil and empathic society. It draws readers into a first-hand experience of Indigenous peoples and their inspiring spirit and tenacity to overcome the wounds of Residential School abuse, colonization, historical oppression and forced assimilation. Hope, Faith & Empathy gently provokes readers to look at their beliefs and move beyond any negative stereotypes of Indigenous peoples and communities they may have.
Why the words Hope, Faith & Empathy as the title of the book? Hope that children of this generation and future generations do not have a childhood they have to recover from. Faith that we will learn from our history and work together in creating a future that recognizes the gifts of all children, families, nations and races. Empathy that we will be able to foster and witness greater empathy between the relations of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. It begins with each of us. Empathy is the bridge connecting hope and faith.
Hope, Faith & Empathy is an entertaining, engaging and inspiring story to read and learn from. It can also be used as a formal educational tool to raise levels of cultural competency, cultural safety and understanding of Indigenous peoples.
About the Author: Monique Gray Smith is an Indigenous woman, a Mother, Writer, International Speaker and Consultant focusing on the Strength and Resiliency of Indigenous Peoples Worldwide.