Studies in National and International Development


National and International Development

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Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Deaths and Hard Truths in a Northern City

Date: Tuesday October 17, 2017 (note day change)
Venue: JDUC Sutherland Room (note venue)
Time: 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Speaker: Tanya Talaga, 2017-2018 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy

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. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau’s grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang’s. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie’s death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water. 

Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist 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.



Talaga Book Cover
Tanya Talaga

Tanya Talaga is a Toronto Star journalist and a 2017-2018 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy.  Her book Seven Fallen Feathers was selected as one of CBCs “Non-fiction books to watch for this Fall.”  

Novel Idea Books will be selling Seven Fallen Feathers at this event.