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Canada Reads - The Orenda

Up next on our list of the Canada Reads finalists is Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda, a story of blood and hope, suspicion and trust, hatred and love. The Orenda tells the story of the French's conquest of Canada from the viewpoints of both the conquerors and the conquered. The novel begins with a bang, opening with a brutal massacre and the kidnapping of a young Iroquois. As the story unfolds, we follow the action from three very different points of view. Snow Falls, the kidnappee, is a spirited girl with a special gift. Bird, her captor, is an elder and one of the Huron Nation's great warriors and statesmen. And Christophe, the charismatic Jesuit missionary, immerses himself in the Huron way of life so as to bring them Christ. As these three characters' lives intersect, we see how the French exploited old battles between the Iroquois and Huron tribes to speed their conquest of New France.

The Orenda will be defended by Wab Kinewan award-winning journalist, aboriginal activist and hip-hop artist. He's currently the first director of indigenous inclusion at the University of Winnipeg.