“Talaga has written Canada’s J’Accuse, an open letter to the rest of us about the many ways we contribute – through act or inaction – to suicides and damaged existences in Canada’s indigenous communities. Tanya Talaga’s account of teen lives and deaths in and near Thunder Bay is detailed, balanced and heart-rending. Talaga describes gaps in the system large enough for beloved children and adults to fall through, endemic indifference, casual racism and a persistent lack of resources. It is impossible to read this book and come away unchanged.”
TORONTO – The Winner of the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize is Tanya Talaga (Toronto, ON) for her book Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death and Hard Truths in a Northern City, published by House of Anansi Press.
The $25,000 award was announced today by Prize founder and Chair Noreen Taylor during a gala luncheon celebrating this year’s finalists at the Omni King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto. In addition to the cash prize, Ms. Talaga received a crystal trophy and a leather-bound version of her book.
Noreen Taylor, prize founder and chair of the Charles Taylor Foundation expressed her delight, stating: “There is a self-assurance about Canada which is being expressed not only in writers’ willingness to explore the world around us but also in their willingness to pursue today’s necessary stories. These endeavours help propel us into making informed and confident choices about our future. It is these accomplishments that the RBC Taylor Prize celebrates with Seven Fallen Feathers.”
Vijay Parmar, president of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, added: “On behalf of RBC Wealth Management, I am delighted to congratulate Ms. Talaga on this tremendous achievement. To win the RBC Taylor Prize Award is a prestigious honour and we are proud of our partnership with the Charles Taylor Foundation in inspiring and promoting the extraordinary literary talent of our non-fiction writers from across the country.”
Tanya Talaga is an award-winning journalist at the Toronto Star. In 2015, she was part of a team that won a National Newspaper Award for Gone, a series of stories on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. She is the 2017- 2018 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy. Her great-grandmother, Liz Gauthier, was a residential school survivor. Her great-grandfather, Russell Bowen, was an Ojibwe trapper and labourer. Her grandmother is a member of Fort William First Nation. Her mother was raised in Raith and Graham, Ontario. Talaga lives in Toronto with her two teenage children.