Winner of the Speakers Book Award for Non-Fiction for Up Ghost River
Winner of the Donald Creighton Award for History for Up Ghost River- Awards
Winner of the CBC Bookie Award for Non-Fiction for Up Ghost River
Finalist for the Trillium Book Award for English language for Up Ghost River
Finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction for Up Ghost River
A Globe and Mail Bestseller (Up Ghost River)
A CBC best book (Up Ghost River)
A Quill and Quire book of the Year (Up Ghost River)
One of the CBC’s 100 true stories that make you proud to be Canadian (Up Ghost River)
This book is a cri de coeur that should be read in every school in Canada as part of every Canadian history course. Invisible North is an indictment of Canada’s abysmal relations with its First Nations people, a triage of our systematic racism, and a detailed dismantling of every lazily upheld cliché about daily life on a reserve. I predict and pray that Invisible North will not only be a final unraveling of our terrible legacy but that it will provide the roadmap for positive change.
Nominated for a Governor General’s Award as co-author of the bestselling memoir Up Ghost River, Alexandra Shimo’s investigative reporting shines much-needed light on the third-world poverty and despair in First Nations communities that few Canadians are aware of and even fewer have experienced. Embedded in a remote community along the James Bay coast while researching Invisible North the author succumbed to the anguish she experienced after four months in Kashechewan First Nation, ground zero for the First Nation experience. Wracked with guilt and anger over the appalling hardship and suffering she experienced, her long road to recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder is a metaphor for Canada’s path to reconciliation with First Nations.- Alvin Fiddler, Nishnawbe Aski Nation Grand Chief
“It’s very rare that a book will make you shake your head and drop your jaw. What Shimo sought out to experience in Kashachewan, and the stories she came back with, managed to shed some unexpected light on the darker side of Aboriginal existence, and its complicated relationship with the government of Canada. The author went down the rabbit hole and showed us the many of the problems this thing called civilization can cause.”
Investigative journalism at its best, Invisible North documents the plight and resilience of a community of Canadians whose hardscrabble reality most of their fellow citizens cannot even imagine. Anyone who wants to know this country needs to see Kashechewan as depicted in Alexandra Shimo’s vivid and gripping account.
“The horror of Metatawabin’s account seem almost unbelievable, but it is all too factual, backed up with official documents. Nor can Canadians dismiss this as a tragedy from a now bygone era; Metatawabin argues that recent legislation from the Stephen Harper government as a continuation of oppression. This work is a harrowing but enthralling account of an aspect of Canadian history that the country would prefer to forget but which continues to haunt.”- Publishers Weekly – starred review of Up Ghost River
Moving documentation, recollected tragedy and personal triumph, this book is a necessary first-hand account of being First Nations in contemporary Canada. From the atrocities of residential schools, to the present-day policy challenges, Up Ghost River will open your eyes to the all-too-recent history of Canada’s First Peoples, through the experiences of a resilient individual and his family.”- The Right Honourable Paul Martin, former Prime Minister of Canada
[Up Ghost River] “is at times painful. It’s at other times a wonderful lesson in the importance of laughter. It’s certainly deeply connected to the land. It is, in part, a tale of a world changing too quickly. But most of all, it is a heart song, a love song to a very special people and place, to a geography and a culture that are a foundation of who we are as a nation.”- Joseph Boyden, author of The Orenda