The Reason You Walk

The Reason You Walk

Penguin Canada | April 27, 2017 | 288 pages

When his father was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Winnipeg broadcaster and musician Wab Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting with the accomplished but distant aboriginal man who'd raised him. The Reason You Walkspans the year 2012, chronicling painful moments in the past and celebrating renewed hopes and dreams for the future. As Kinew revisits his own childhood in Winnipeg and on a reserve in Northern Ontario, he learns more about his father's traumatic childhood at residential school. His father, Tobasonakwut, was a beloved traditonal chief and respected leader. Internally divided, his father embraced both traditional religion and Catholicism, the religion that was inculcated into him at the residential school where he was physically and sexually abused. In a grand gesture of reconciliation, Kinew's father adopted the Roman Catholic bishop of Winnipeg as his brother. Kinew writes affectingly of his own struggles in his twenties to find the right path, eventually giving up a self-destructive lifestyle to passionately pursue music and martial arts. From his unique vantage point, he offers an inside view of what it means to be an educated Aboriginal living in a country that is just beginning to wake up to its idengenous history and living presence. Invoking hope, healing, and forgiveness, The Reason You Walkis a poignant story of a towering but damaged father and his son as they repair their family bond. By turns lighthearted and solemn, Kinew creates an inspiring vision of family, cross-cultural reconciliation, and of the future of Aboriginal peoples.

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ISBN: 9780143193555

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