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March 2022: Young Readers

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

For March 2022 and in honour of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21 (this year's theme being “VOICES FOR ACTION AGAINST RACISM”), we are honoured to feature and share with you Tasha Spillett-Sumner's graphic novel debut, Surviving the City (Vol. 1: Book 1 of 2), winner of the Indigenous Voices Award, alternate format and an In The Margins Top Fiction Novel for 2020. In the story, best friends Miikwan (who is Anishinaabe) and Dez (who is Inninew) navigate through life as teenagers within an urban setting. Both deal with friendship, loss, and trauma. The story highlights the themes of womanhood and colonialism, and educates readers about the ever present struggles of Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. This graphic novel should be a staple in all schools to bring awareness to the harms of colonialism, racism, and misogyny and the role they play in the devastating number of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirt People (MMIWG2S). Education is essential for change to happen.

About the Author

Tasha Spillett-Sumner is a celebrated educator, poet, author, speaker, and emerging scholar who is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Education through the University of Saskatchewan, the same university where she holds a Vanier Canada Award. She is a dedicated advocate for the protection of Indigenous women and girls as well as land and water defense and an active member of Manitoba’s Indigenous community. Her research focuses on amplifying the voices of Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirt People to bring justice for MMIWG2S. Tasha’s Inninewak (Cree) and Trinidadian bloodlines bring her the strength and power to fight against colonialism through the work she does. As an educator, Tasha holds a teaching philosophy which honours her cultural knowledge and supports the cultural identities of her Indigenous students. Creating inclusive and culturally responsive learning environments for students is extremely important to Tasha. In addition to her work within the classroom, Tasha is very active outside of the classroom in the development of Indigenous Education polices and curriculum. As well, she has served as a mentor in the Sisters Circle, an after-school program for Indigenous girls. In the past, she served as a member of the Manito Ahbee Festival board of governors where she assisted in the formation of the annual Education Days, an event where youth, Indigenous leaders, and cultural knowledge keepers from the community join together to share, learn, and celebrate Indigenous ways of being. Tasha was previously the chair of the Miss Manito Ahbee Youth Ambassador which gathers in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Existence as Resistance | Tasha Spillet | TEDxUniversityofWinnipeg

Educational Resources

Click the link below to download the Educational Resources in order to Read to Learn & Learn to Change with us!

Surviving the City Vol. 1 Educational Resources
Download PDF • 208KB

Interview with Tasha Spillett-Sumner

April 3, 2022 (In Honour of International Children's Book Day)


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