All Our Relations by Tanya Talaga: The mistreatment of indigenous Canadians

Book review: The fate of Canada's native peoples has parallels to Irish Traveller experience

 Canadian Plains Indians including Sioux, Dakato, Dene And Cree, wearing  traditional costumes dancing. Photograph: Tim Graham/Getty Images

Canadian Plains Indians including Sioux, Dakato, Dene And Cree, wearing traditional costumes dancing. Photograph: Tim Graham/Getty Images

All our Relations: Indigenous Trauma in the Shadow of Colonialism, by the award-winning Native Canadian writer Tanya Talaga, documents Canada’s history of genocide towards native people by the form of residential designated, special “Indian Schools”.

While the book is written in an academic format, the narratives have strong parallels for Irish Travellers. In Ireland, there were “special schools” and “special classrooms” for Travellers. There was also in some areas “special segregated transport”. All ages and all abilities were put into one particular school or classroom. Nobody ever asked a Traveller child what they wanted to be when they grow up.

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