Legacy: Trauma, Story, and Indigenous Healing

ECW Press, 2019

A provocative and empathetic exploration of Indigenous 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 colonialism, 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, and explores the 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

On the Toronto Star list of 7 Indigenous Books and Podcasts for National Indigenous History Month

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

On the 38 More Must-Read Books for Health Coaches and Clients list

Chosen by Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton for the 2019/2020 RISE Book Club

Book Cover: Legacy - Trauma, Story and Indigenous Healing, by Suzanne Methot

Now available in bookstores and online.

Aboriginal Beliefs, Values, and Aspirations

Goodminds/Pearson Canada, 2011

This student textbook was written for the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Grade 11 Native Studies course (NBV3C). The writing process was a collaborative one, involving First Nations, Inuit, Métis and non-Indigenous teachers, cultural consultants, advisors, language consultants, artists, editors, and writers. The nine chapters are organized into four key units: Spirit of the Land, Diverse Identities, Sovereignty and Self-Determination, and Resilience, Renewal, and Rejuvenation.

Each chapter contains features such as Voices of the Peoples interviews, Community Close-up case studies, Words Matter definition boxes, Reflection boxes, and Thinking It Through questions. There are also Building Your Skills extensions and Web Connects resource boxes. Specific topics include Indigenous cultures and worldviews; relationships with the land; hunting and fishing rights; economy, trade, and resources; Indigenous identities; myths and stereotypes; Indigenous families and communities; governance and leadership; treaties; protests and resistance; urban issues; education; policing and justice issues; and languages. more...

Numerous colour photographs, maps, and charts assist students in their learning about about the cultures and beliefs of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada in the past, present, and future. The text includes a helpful glossary of terms, pronunciation guide, index, and opening and closing prayers, greetings, and farewells in several Indigenous languages. Text includes a Teacher Resource binder with CD-ROM and website access.

This textbook is accessible and readable. At the Ontario Library Association 2013 Superconference, librarians reported that the book was being signed out of urban, rural, and on-reserve libraries by a wide range of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people of various ages.

Book Cover: Aboriginal Beliefs, Values and Aspirations

Now available online:

Book Cover: A Shade of Spring - An Anthology of New Native Writers

A Shade of Spring: An Anthology of New Native Writers

7th Generation Books, 1998

“Achimowin,” “From the Watchtower,” “Testimony” (poems)

Book Cover: Let the Drums Be Your Heart - New Native Voices

Let the Drums Be Your Heart: New Native Voices

Douglas & McIntyre, 1996

“We Are People, Just Like You: The Story of the Lubicon Cree” (essay)

Book Cover: Steal My Rage - New Native Voices

Steal My Rage

Douglas & McIntyre, 1995

“In the Moon of the Red Blooming Lilies,” “To a Healing Man” (poems)

Book Cover: In a Vast Dreaming -  Native Women in the Arts

in a vast dreaming

Native Women in the Arts, 1994

“Protective Custody” (short story)

Suzanne Methot