The Au­thor

An in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist and the 2018 CBC Massey lec­turer


A friend of mine had been telling me about his friend Tanya for a few years. He said we would get along, that we had a lot in com­mon. He said she was a jour­nal­ist, a writer, Indige­nous and was born and bred in Toronto like me. It took a few years, but we fi­nally met. It was af­ter her crit­i­cally ac­claimed, award-win­ning book Seven Fallen Feath­ers was re­leased and she was be­com­ing a house­hold name.

I was told by our mu­tual friend that she wanted to ex­plore a busi­ness re­la­tion­ship and con­sider me as a di­rec­tor for a doc­u­men­tary about

Seven Fallen Feath­ers. At our first din­ner to­gether I im­me­di­ately felt like I was in the com­pany of great­ness. Our con­ver­sa­tion seam­lessly shifted from pol­i­tics and Indige­nous is­sues, to per­sonal strug­gles and iden­tity crises. While I knew it was a busi­ness meet­ing, I was left vi­brat­ing. I felt so lucky to have shared a few hours with a woman who I be­lieve to be one of the most crit­i­cal voices in our coun­try.

The di­a­logue her sto­ry­telling pro­vokes is par­a­digm shift­ing, and I have no doubt that the im­print she leaves will last through­out time, and peo­ple will look back and re­mem­ber Tanya for break­ing bar­ri­ers and chang­ing the land­scape of Cana­dian/Indige­nous re­la­tions.

The thing I feel most lucky for is that we did work to­gether on the doc­u­men­tary of Seven Fallen Feath­ers. We’ve spent a lot of time to­gether, and I’m grate­ful to have the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate with some­one who in­spires me. Our mu­tual friend was right, we are sim­i­lar and we do un­der­stand one an­other, and beyond work­ing to­gether,

I’ve found a life­long friend.


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