I was invited to join the Sweetgrass Book Club, enthusiastically organized for the three books for November and a week ago, completed Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (And Yours) by Harold R. Johnson.
Amazing! While there were some messages that became redundant, in the reading, the book was written from such an honest and authentic point of view, that I was truly absorbed from beginning to end.
I appreciated so much that traditional stories were woven into the factual history of human relationship with alcohol and more specifically, the stigma that comes with the relationship that Indigenous peoples have had with alcohol. I felt an urgency, like I have not before, that these concerns must be addressed, but as they relate to these families, our families.
Based on my reading and my experience of The Spawning Ground by Gail Anderson-Dargatz, it is essential that the bridge between our two worlds be burned down! We need to be aware of the power of story…we have to listen.
I think that Johnson introduces a refreshing approach to the social and judicial complications in the layers of these stories. He also brings to light the truth of so many related matters.. His wisdom really impacted me. I hope that my readers will listen to the CBC interview that I am attempting to post here.
I highly recommend this book and think that sobriety can offer a very productive and satisfying result. Our celebrations can be very special events without the presence of alcohol. Thanks to Tracey Lindberg and Richard Van Camp for your contributions. I’m reading Birdie, now.
“We need all of the sober artists to tell their stories.”