Your cart is empty.

This Place

150 Years Retold

By Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Sonny Assu, Brandon Mitchell, Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley, Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley, David A. Robertson, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, Jen Storm, Richard Van Camp, Katherena Vermette, Chelsea Vowel
Illustrated by Tara Audibert, Kyle Charles, GMB Chomichuk, Natasha Donovan, Scott B. Henderson, Andrew Lodwick, Scott A. Ford, Donovan Yaciuk, and Ryan Howe
Foreword by Alicia Elliott
Categories: Young Adult Fiction, Historical, Politics & Government, Aboriginal & Indigenous, Canada, Prejudice & Racism, Assimilation
Imprint: HighWater Press

Interest Age: 15–18
Grade: 9–12
Reading Level: Lexile HL700L
Paperback : 9781553797586, 296 pages, April 2019
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781553797821, 296 pages, May 2019
Ebook (PDF) : 9781553797838, 296 pages, May 2019
Ebook (MobiPocket) : 9781553798729, 296 pages, May 2019
Ebook (MobiPocket) - Unavailable


I have never liked the phrase, “History is written by the victors. ” I understand the idea behind it – that those in power will tell and retell stories in whatever ways flatter them best, until those stories harden into something called “history. ” But just because stories are unwritten for a time, doesn’t mean they’ll be unwritten forever. And just because stories don’t get written down, doesn’t mean they’re ever lost. We carry them in our minds, our hearts, our very bones. We honour them by passing them on, letting them live on in others, too.

That’s exactly what this anthology does. It takes stories our people have been forced to pass on quietly, to whisper behind hands like secrets, and retells them loudly and unapologetically for our people today. It finally puts our people front and centre on our own lands. Inside these pages are the incredible, hilarious heroics of Annie Bannatyne, who refused to let settlers disrespect Metis women in Red River. There’s the heartbreaking, necessary tale of Nimkii and Teddy, heroic youth in care who fight trauma and colonialism as hard as they possibly can in impossible circumstances. And there are many more—all important, all enlightening. All of these stories deserve to be retold, remembered and held close.

As I was reading, I thought a lot about the idea of apocalypse, or the end of the world as we know it. Indigenous writers have pointed out that, as Indigenous people, we all live in a post-apocalyptic world. The world as we knew it ended the moment colonialism started to creep across these lands. But we have continued to tell our stories, we have continued to adapt. Despite everything, we have survived.

Every Indigenous person’s story is, in a way, a tale of overcoming apocalypse. The Canadian laws and policies outlined at the beginning of each story have tried their hardest to beat us down, to force us to assimilate and give up our culture, yet here we are. We have survived the apocalypse. When you think about it that way, every Indigenous person is a hero simply for existing. The people named in these stories are all heroes, inspired by love of their people and culture to do amazing, brave things—but so are the unnamed people who raised them, who taught them, who supported them and stood with them. Our communities are full of heroes.

That’s why this anthology is so beautiful and so important. It tells tales of resistance, of leadership, of wonder and pain, of pasts we must remember and futures we must keep striving towards, planting each story like a seed deep inside of us. It’s our responsibility as readers to carry and nourish those seeds, letting them grow inside as we go on to create our own stories, live our own lives, and become our own heroes. As you read, consider: how are you a hero already? And what will your story be?

—Alicia Elliott

Table of contents

v Foreword
Alicia Elliott

2 Annie of Red River
Katherena Vermette
Illustration: Scott B. Henderson
Colours: Donovan Yaciuk

28 Tilted Ground
Sonny Assu
Illustration: Kyle Charles
Colours: Scott A. Ford

54 Red Clouds
Jen Storm
Illustration & Colours: Natasha Donovan

82 Peggy
David A. Robertson
Illustration & Colours: Natasha Donovan

110 Rosie
Rachel & Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley
Illustration & Colours: GMB Chomichuk

138 Nimkii
Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
Illustration: Ryan Howe & Jen Storm
Colours: Donovan Yaciuk

166 Like a Razor Slash
Richard Van Camp
Illustration: Scott B. Henderson
Colours: Scott A. Ford

192 Migwite’tmeg: We Remember It
Brandon Mitchell
Illustration: Tara Audibert
Colours: Donovan Yaciuk

220 Warrior Nation
Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair
Illustration & Colours: Andrew Lodwick

246 kitaskînaw 2350
Chelsea Vowel
Illustration: Tara Audibert
Colours: Donovan Yaciuk

278 Notes
281 Select Bibliography
284 About the Contributors


Explore the past 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in this groundbreaking graphic novel anthology. Beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through Indigenous wonderworks, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact.

This is one of the 200 exceptional projects funded through the Canada Council for the Arts’ New Chapter initiative. With this $35M initiative, the Council supports the creation and sharing of the arts in communities across Canada.


Featured in the Bestselling Canadian books list

- CBC Books

Featured in June Reading Picks for Indigenous History Month 

- The Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC)

#4 Bestseller

- McNally Robinson

Featured in 10 Canadian comics to read right now

- CBC Books

This makes few concessions to newcomers to the topic (which is an approach that itself makes a point), but it will be an eyeopener for people mostly familiar with U. S. history or colonialist viewpoints, and it could galvanize young readers with an interest in social equity.

- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB)

An illuminating, self-assured graphic novel anthology in which every panel reads like a radical act.

- Kirkus Reviews

Conceived and produced as part a national effort to retell the painful history of [Indigenous people in Canada], This Place: 150 Years Retold, is an anthology of 10 graphic stories created by many of the country’s acclaimed indigenous writers and comics artists.

- Calvin Reid

gorgeous illustrations and colour accompany engaging stories written by a host of acclaimed Indigenous authors and illustrators.

- Angela Thompson

[A] breathtaking comics anthology. ..this mix of powerful storytelling and memorable illustrations is a place to begin a dialogue with Indigenous peoples in Canada.

- Jeffrey Canton

If you’re used to looking at Canadian history one way, a new graphic novel anthology will help you see it from new perspectives – Indigenous ones.

- David Jon Fuller

Thoughtful, inspiring, and moving. ..But first and foremost, it's a collection of exciting, entertaining, beautifully drawn stories

- Peter Dabbene

this collection provides invaluable opportunity to hear voices that are featured all too rarely in literature and is a worthwhile addition to collections.

- Summer Hayes

This is the power of storytelling. It's going deeper and truer than the history books and the newspaper accounts. It's bringing the stories to the people for the people and doing it for the right reasons: to teach and to illuminate.  This Place: 150 Years Retold is the dawn to a new storytelling tradition that doesn't need to be held back. It should be shouted forward from now on.

- Helen Kubiw

In all the hoopla about Canada's sesquicentennial, where were the indigenous peoples? Where was their celebration? Was there even a celebration, since as this book points out, in story after story, Canada has done everything in its power to make sure the native peoples are corralled, stripped of their tradition, their language, their land, every change they got.

Each contributor to this volume draws on stories of the Metis, Inuit, and First Nations, that happened in the last 150 years. And Chelsea Vowel, looks back on things that have happened, from the future, when the land has been restored.

This is an amazing book, packed with stories based on fact, of times that Metis, First Nations and Inuit have fought back. Of the residential schools, to the 60s scoop, to land and water rights protests.

Highly recommended to schools, libraries and individuals.

Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

- NetGalley

"This Place" delivers spectacularly with its diverse collection of gorgeously illustrated stories. Although as an American my grasp of Canadian history is exactly as weak as one would expect, I still enthusiastically devoured the anthology. The stories of the Indigenous peoples of the Americas overall are still stories that one doesn't get to hear all too often, so I find any opportunity to hear and read this often-ignored perspective is a welcome one irregardless of any official borders. When it comes out, "This Place" will have a spot eagerly waiting for it in my library's graphic novel collection.

- NetGalley

The artwork is simply stunning, spanning a wide variety of styles from a large number of artists. I’m impressed by the scope of the project - tackling such a long and varied history is an impressive feat. It’s a great history book to be sure, especially due to its unique storytelling format.

- NetGalley

Oh my god ya'll, I had better see this on absolutely everybody's TBR.

This is amazing, this is important, and this is wonderfully encapturing. From the many different art styles, I got to experience, to the rich story-telling from different authors, reading this was an experience I've never encountered before.

This book is so important, to have been written and to be read in turn. We are coming to see a lot more diversity in fiction, such as a lot more books written by authors of colour about main characters of colour, with many a supporting cast featuring POC, however the minority group I see the least would have to be indigenous people. This is extremely unfortunate, as genocide and colonialism have made generations of Indigenous peoples voices unheard, and we can still see the effects of this today, as we can with any other minority group in society, but especially Indigenous communities and their lack of content written about them. This book specifically delves into this, and as a result, most of the stories told are relatively sad but are telling the stories of important Indigenous figures which stories have been silenced by forced assimilation for so long.

I've decided to highlight some of my favourite stories that I read.

Red Clouds by Jen Storm. This story was tragic, beautifully told by some amazing and haunting artwork. As is unfortunately common in stories told about Indigenous people, the story revolves a woman who is tragically killed. However, I liked the question throughout the novel revolving around the difference between the Queen's laws and the laws the Indigenous people follow and govern by themselves, should white man's law be used to judge an act that happens within Indigenous land and jurisdiction? It was a concept I enjoyed thinking about extensively.

Peggy by David Robertson. This one made me cry like you wouldn't believe. This story explores Indigenous men being summoned to war despite not actually being allowed to have any decent human rights. It also centers around one of the greatest snipers during the war. Our main character is brave and inspirational, we get to see him influence his fellow soldiers in his ways when the beliefs and traditions of Indigenous people were being threatened by bigotry and fear. This story explores a man who risked his life to serve, and serve well, get rewarded and recognized with metals, and still struggles to be granted simple things as an Indigenous person.

Nimkii by Kateri Aikwenzie-Damm. This story is the saddest one by far, I bawled my eyes out reading this. This story follows a woman telling her daughter her story of being ripped from her loving mother at a young age and forced into a residential school, then to be circled around from home to home in the adoptive system. The numbers of Indigenous children in foster care compared to white children is shocking and was a bitter reality for a lot of children after surviving residential school. If you thought a residential school was the worst to happen to Indigenous people, this book may be a rude awakening.

- NetGalley

I don't know a huge amount about Canadian history or the struggles of indigenous people. This graphic novel is an interesting and thought-provoking read, which fills in some of the holes.

Each story is introduced by a foreword from the author, and a timeline of events surrounding the narrative; these where both fascinating and added to my appreciation of each story. Beautifully drawn, with a different style being used for each story, This Place is a book that all teenagers should read.

- NetGalley

This Place: 150 Years Retold is part of a larger Canadian project called the New Chapter Initiative. The goal is to retell history through the eyes of Indigenous people. You know the saying; history is decided by those that won? Well, this is sort of a twist on that. This is history from the perspective of people who normally don’t have the opportunity to share their side of things.

This is an absolutely brilliant collection. It was eye opening and beautifully done. I’m ashamed to say that I had never considered a project like this before, but I am so happy that one exists. I hope to see more like this in the future.

I cannot state the important of this graphic novel enough. We all can afford to work on understanding other people’s perspectives, and this couldn’t be truer here. This collection really was enlightening.

Along with being important, the stories being told are rich and beautiful. Normally I’d use this time to point out my favorite story or two in a collection. But honestly? I don’t think I could pick a favorite here if I tried. They were all lovely, and as I said before, extremely important.

I hope that the New Chapter Initiative continues moving forward and coming out with collections like this. I also hope to see more people reading them that would be absolutely amazing.

- NetGalley

This is the first time I've ever read a graphic novel that is a collection of stories rather than one single tale and it was certainly a rather interesting experience. This Place: 150 Years Retold is a collection of short stories in a graphic format which tell the tales of real people from the past of Canada whose stories have been told by people who do not even share their race or stories that simply may not have been told at all. Indigenous authors Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, Chelsea Vowel, Katherena Vermette, Jen Storm, Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, David Alexander Robertson, Richard Van Camp, and Brandon Mitchell have come together to provide the world with accounts of indigenous people who helped Canada become what it is today and, sometimes, of their own ancestors and the hardships that they all went through.   It is a collection that portrays history from eyes that, for once, do not belong to the conquerors who invaded and changed their world as we so often see in today's society.

Admittedly, history is not always my favorite subject to read about, but many of these stories were thoroughly engaging and interesting. I definitely feel that I prefer them, to an extent, in graphic format as it allowed me the opportunity to enmesh myself with the story in an entirely new way. The inclusion of various authors within one graphic novel was a little rough at times as the artistic style would consistently change from story to story and some were far better than others. This made the transition from story to story somewhat staggered rather than smooth and I think perhaps a reordering of which stories come after each other might benefit the book greatly.

As for the stories themselves, they were all well done and enjoyable to read. I'm certainly very glad that these authors had the opportunity to put these tales out into the world and I hope that they are read by many. Some, particularly the one about the war hero returned home to nothing, were truly poignant and devastating to read. Ultimately, I had a good time reading this graphic novel and would certainly recommend it.

- NetGalley

This is an incredible volume. The collection of stories, from a fantastic collection of writers and artists is a masterpiece. The weaving together of storytelling, art, history and opinion is just wonderful.

As an educator, I would gladly add this to my humanities courses. Perhaps we'd study the whole thing, perhaps we'd use it as a way to look at various aspects of Indigenous history in Canada. It's unflinching and honest in its look at the history of our nation.

In the spirit of truth and reconciliation, there is a thread of hope that runs through this collection. It reflects past, present and future.

- NetGalley