2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction Finalist

2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalist Tanya Talaga Seven Fallen Feathers
Tanya Talaga
Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City
House of Anansi Press

2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalist Tanya Talaga Seven Fallen Feathers

“In Seven Fallen Feathers, Tanya Talaga delves into the lives of seven Indigenous students who died while attending high school in Thunder Bay over the first 11 years of this century.  

With a narrative voice encompassing lyrical creation myth, razor-sharp reporting, and a searing critique of Canada’s ongoing colonial legacy, Talaga binds these tragedies—and the ambivalent response from police and government—into a compelling tapestry. This vivid, wrenching book shatters the air of abstraction that so often permeates news of the injustices Indigenous communities face every day. It is impossible to read Seven Fallen Feathers and not care about the lives lost, the families thrust into purgatory, while the rest of society looks away.”

-2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction jury Susan Harada, Arno Kopecky, and Siobhan Roberts.

About the Book

In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied. More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities.

About the Author

Tanya Talaga has been a journalist at the Toronto Star for 20 years. She has been nominated five times for the Michener Award in public service journalism. She has twice won a National Newspaper Award for her work as part of a team: in 2013, for a year-long project on the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh and, in 2015, for a series of stories into the inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Talaga is the 2017–2018 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy. She lives in Toronto.




Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


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