Daniel is a young Métis man searching for a way to exist in a world of lateral violence, intergenerational trauma and systemic racism. Facing obstacles of his own at every turn, he observes and learns from the lived realities of his family members, friends, teachers and lovers. He finds hope in the inherent connection of Indigenous Peoples to the land, and the permanence of culture, language and ceremony in the face of displacement.
Set in Edmonton, this story considers Indigenous youth in relation to the urban constructs and colonial spaces in which they survive—from violence, whitewashing, trauma and racism to language revitalization, relationships with Elders, restaking land claims and ultimately, triumph. Based on Papaschase and Métis oral histories and lived experience, Conor Kerr’s debut novel will not soon be forgotten.
2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist
"Kerr has given voice to the reality of Edmonton’s homeless Indigenous youth. People who survive inside of the shadows of what used to be called The City of Champions. The realities of Indigenous youth trying to survive the child welfare system in a city that prides itself on being winners of everything from sport to industry are placed on display. What Kerr has given to us through his humour, and his own lived experience as a Métis hunter and writer, is a fresh voice and one that we will be hearing from for many years to come."
– Norma Dunning, author of Tainna