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Jesse Thistle: In Conversation with Janice Zolf
Join us as filmmaker Janice Zolf sits down for a conversation with Canada Reads author Jesse Thistle.

Thistle’s debut memoir, From the Ashes: My story of being Métis, homeless, and finding my way, is a book that explores the impact of prejudice and racism, while also telling a story of hope and resilience.

Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, whose tough-love attitudes quickly resulted in conflicts. Throughout it all, the ghost of Jesse’s drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling with all that had happened, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. Finally, he realized he would die unless he turned his life around.

In this heartwarming and heart-wrenching memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful past, the abuse he endured, and how he uncovered the truth about his parents. Through sheer perseverance and education—and newfound love—he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family.

An eloquent exploration of the impact of prejudice and racism, From the Ashes is, in the end, about how love and support can help us find happiness despite the odds.

Nov 13, 2020 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Jesse Thistle
Jesse Thistle is Métis-Cree, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He is an assistant professor in Métis Studies at York University in Toronto. He is a finalist for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, and the Indigenous Voices Awards, won a Governor General’s Academic Medal in 2016, and is a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a Vanier Scholar. He lives in Hamilton, Ont.