Winner, 2017 Shaughnessy Cohen Writers' Trust Prize for Political Writing
Winner, 2017 RBC Taylor Prize
Winner, 2017 First Nation Communities Read: Young Adult/Adult
Winner, 2024 Blue Metropolis First Peoples Prize, for the whole of her work
Finalist, 2017 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction

The groundbreaking and multiple award-winning national bestseller work about systemic racism, education, the failure of the policing and justice systems, and Indigenous rights by Tanya Talaga.

Over the span of eleven years, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. They were hundreds of kilometres away from their families, forced to leave home because there was no adequate high school on their reserves. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning author Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.

About the author(s)

TANYA TALAGA is of Anishinaabe and Polish descent and was born and raised in Toronto. Her mother was raised on the traditional territory of Fort William First Nation and Treaty 9. Her father is Polish Canadian. Tanya is a proud member of Fort William First Nation.

 She is the acclaimed author of the national bestseller Seven Fallen Feathers, which won the RBC Taylor Prize, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the First Nation Communities Read: Young Adult/Adult Award; was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and the BC National Award for Non-Fiction; and was CBC’s Nonfiction Book of the Year and a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. 

Talaga was the 2017–2018 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy, the 2018 CBC Massey Lecturer and is the author of the national bestseller All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward. For more than twenty years she was a journalist at the Toronto Star and is now a regular columnist at the Globe and Mail

Talaga's third book, The Knowing, based on her family's experience in residential schools, will be published in late summer, 2024.

Tanya Talaga is the founder of Makwa Creative, a production company formed to elevate Indigenous voices and stories through documentary films and podcasts. In 2021, she founded the charity, the Spirit to Soar Fund, which is aimed at improving the lives of First Nations youth living in northern Ontario. Talaga has five honorary doctorates.


[A]n urgent and unshakable portrait of the horrors faced by Indigenous teens going to school in Thunder Bay, Ontario, far from their homes and families. . . . Talaga’s incisive research and breathtaking storytelling could bring this community one step closer to the healing it deserves.

Talaga’s research is meticulous and her journalistic style is crisp and uncompromising. . . . The book is heartbreaking and infuriating, both an important testament to the need for change and a call to action.

What is happening in Thunder Bay is particularly destructive, but Talaga makes clear how Thunder Bay is symptomatic, not the problem itself. Recently shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, Talaga’s is a book to be justly infuriated by.

Tanya Talaga investigates the deaths of seven Indigenous teens in Thunder Bay — Jethro Anderson, Curran Strang, Robyn Harper, Paul Panacheese, Reggie Bushie, Kyle Morrisseau, and Jordan Wabasse — searching for answers and offering a deserved censure to the authorities who haven’t investigated, or considered the contributing factors, nearly enough.

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