“To understand this story, it is important to know the People and where they came from and what they went through.” So begins a haunting story that explores with frank and honest words the dark legacy of the residential school system and its impact on individuals, families and communities.
James Nathan and Jake Noland have been best friends for life. After finishing mission school they return to their Gwich’in community in the Northwest Territories. Their lives revolve around bootleggers, the bar, drug abuse and meaningless sex. James and Jake try to dull their painful memories of the school. Each hides a dark secret that fuels his nightmares. Enough alcohol silences the demons for a night; a gun and a single bullet silences demons forever. When a friend commits suicide and a former priest appears on television, the community is shattered. James and Jake confront their childhood abuse and break the silence to begin a journey of healing and rediscovery.
Robert Arthur Alexie (1957–2014) was a novelist and land-claim negotiator. Born and raised in Fort McPherson in the Northwest Territories, he became the chief of the Tetlit Gwich'in of Fort McPherson, served two terms as vice president of the Gwich'in Tribal Council and helped obtain a land-claim agreement for the Gwich'in of the Northwest Territories.