The Thompson Nicola Regional Library (TNRL) is hosting a series of interactive online events throughout the month of May, including three ‘One Book Wednesday’ events that look to bring awareness to this year’s committee selected ‘One Book, One Community’ (OBOC) book and the traumatic but important message it conveys.

This year, the region-wide community read is ‘Five Little Indians’ by Michelle Good, an award winning author from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. The novel follows the struggles and barriers faced by five survivors of a church-run residential school and their “desperate” journey to come to terms with the past, and try to move forward in the East side of Vancouver’s downtown.

“The steering committee chose the title from a shortlist of Indigenous titles for this iteration of the program,” said Jessica Dinan, chair of the TNRL’s steering committee.

“It worked out really well because the author, Michelle Good, was located in the Kamloops area at the time the title was selected. It was a neat local touch with the title.”

The inaugural OBOC reading initiative is a joint effort between TNRL, Thompson Rivers University, and the Cariboo Regional District, beginning on November 1, 2021 and running through until the same date in 2022. Dinan says the TNRL hopes to continue the program for future years.

The OBOC initiative’s new ‘One Book Wednesday’ virtual events will take place May 11, 18, and 25 via Zoom. Topics include:

May 11, 6:30-8:30pm: a virtual screening of an episode from ‘British Columbia: An Untold History – Change and Resistance.’ This showing will explore the diverse history of BC from the perspective of “diverse people, families, rebels and dreamers.”

May 18, 6:30-7:30pm: Indigenous author and filmmaker Doreen Manuel discussed her book, ‘Brotherhood to Nationhood: George Manuel and the Making of the Modern Indian Movement.’

May 25, 1:30-2:30pm: Secwepemc Museum and Heritage Park hosts a presentation on the history of the Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS).

Merrittonians interested in getting involved in this and future reads selected by the OBOC initiative can read ‘Five Little Indians’ by borrowing it from the Merritt library. The library, along with other TNRL locations, also offers book club kits for those who wish to read and discuss the book in a group setting.
The regional district encourages discussion of the book’s content with friends and neighbours, seeking to bring awareness to the trauma and ongoing legacy of Canada’s residential school system.

“We plan to offer a panel discussion in the fall around truth and reconciliation in keeping with this title for OBOC,” added Dinan.

For more information, or to get involved, visit tnrl.ca/one-book-one-community.