Suzanne facilitates change-making sessions for staff teams and program participants, and is a speaker on pedagogy, Indigenous literatures, Indigenous worldviews, Indigenous approaches to health and wellness, trauma- and healing-informed practice, and decolonization. She also works as an editor, curriculum writer, and in program development for the education, health care, and museum sectors.
Legacy: Trauma, Story, and Indigenous Healing
A provocative and empathetic exploration of intergenerational trauma and strategies for healing, for Indigenous and non-Indigenous readers.
“Change will be different for each culture and person, but it begins with story. The terror, anger, grief, and loss that has possessed Indigenous communities for the past 500 years is coming to an end. With Canada taking its first tentative steps toward reconciliation, this is an era of change in Canadian society. This is our collective opportunity to re-write the narrative of genocide and oppression and envision another, better way of living – not just within Indigenous communities, but between Indigenous people and the settler population.”
Indigenous peoples have shockingly higher rates of addiction, depression, diabetes, and other chronic health conditions than other North Americans. According to the Aboriginal Healing Foundation, these are a result of intergenerational trauma: the unresolved terror, anger, fear, and grief created in Indigenous communities by the painful experiences of colonization, passed down from generation to generation. more...
Author and educator Suzanne Methot shares her own and others’ stories to trace the roots of colonial trauma and the mechanisms by which trauma has become intergenerational. She also explores Indigenous ways of knowing that can lead us toward change.
“This book is accessible, relatable, and full of storytelling about real people. It deeply resonates with me as a traditional counsellor, educator, and Indigenous person. Suzanne Methot, a brave Nehiyaw writer and community helper, takes up the challenges of logically explaining a child’s traumatized brain and body and how these impacts continue into adulthood. Methot also explores Indigenous health-care models, proving that Indigenous values provide solutions. This book uncovers the critical need for legislation that moves from creating ‘a renewed relationship’ with Indigenous peoples to creating real structural change.” Dr. Cyndy Baskin, Mi’kmaq Nation, Associate Professor, School of Social Work, Ryerson University
“In her powerful first book, Nehiyaw writer and educator Methot … shows how colonialism set in motion a self-perpetuating cycle of trauma by destroying the support systems inherent to Indigenous societies, thus robbing members of their agency and identities as well as the ability to form the healthy relationships needed for personal development and growth. The helplessness engendered by the disruption of these communities and traditions, Methot argues, leads to anger that finds expression in lateral violence, further weakening community bonds. The application of Indigenous concepts such as the medicine wheel … provides a method for Indigenous peoples to reclaim their stories. A deeply empathetic and inspiring work with insights of value to anyone struggling to overcome personal or communal trauma.” Sara Shreve, School Library Journal
“Legacy is sure to be found on classroom syllabuses in years to come. It offers Indigenous readers testimony and some tools, and provides non-Indigenous readers depth of scope for understanding the relationships that exist between Indigenous peoples, their nations, and Canada.” Jenny Ferguson, Quill & Quire
“This is a really important book, especially for the non-Indigenous, settler population. This book helped me finally understand what reconciliation will take.” Goodreads
“An important addition to the Indigenous library shelf.” June Sawyers, Booklist
“This beautifully written book … discusses damaging, toxic patterns of behaviour, thought, and physical illness as a direct result of unresolved grief and loss from colonialism and genocide. In crystal-clear prose, Methot has written a book that is both easy to follow and crucial to read.” Sarah Neilson, Book Marks
“Storytelling often gets us into trouble by creating a limiting narrative of our life, one that can avoid responsibility for our own lack of respect and reciprocity for others in our community. [Methot] cautions readers about getting stuck in old stories of anger, blaming, shaming, projection, righteousness, emotional insulation, vengeance, and rightness. She explains the hazards of binary thinking in a victim versus perpetrator world that misses the continuum so many of us reside on, moving from helplessness to power over. Restorying, or the crafting of a more realistic and positive story of suffering and redemption, can provide a coherent narrative while injecting meaning to past events that eventually can make sense of the craziness we may have endured. The author, in writing this book, restories her life in front of us all. If you are a victim, or a victim who has perpetrated, I recommend you read this book. If you are a therapist it is must reading. This is more than a good read. It is an essential way of knowing, not only about trauma, but an aid to understanding ourselves more deeply.” Geral T. Blanchard, author of Transcending Trauma: Post-Traumatic Growth Following Physical, Sexual, and Emotional Abuse and Ancient Ways: Indigenous Healing Innovations for the 21st Century
Winner of the Ontario Historical Society Huguenot Award 2019-2020
Winner of the Gold Medal in the Current Events (Social Issues/Humanitarian) category, Independent Publisher Book Awards
A Recommended Read by librarians at Royal Roads University, Victoria, BC
Chosen by librarians at the Greater Sudbury Public Library for their National Indigenous History Month reading list
On the CBC Books National Indigenous History Month reading list
Recommended by CBC Books on its list of Canadian books to read for World Mental Health Day
Included on the Book Marks “decolonize your bookshelf” reading list
Chosen by Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton for the 2019/2020 RISE Book Club
On the 38 More Must-Read Books for Health Coaches and Clients list
Now available in bookstores and online.