Book Review: As Long as the Rivers Flow by James Bartleman (Indigenous Author)

Book Review: As Long as the Rivers Flow by James Bartleman (Indigenous Author)



At the age of six years old, Martha boarded a floatplane all alone and left for the residential school. Frightened and traumatized by the floatplane, her journey was just beginning, her screams were heard by no one. The moment she arrives at the residential school- sincere affection would no longer be shown to her. Children were to obey. Her language was no longer to be spoken or severe consequences would ensue. Stripped of all her clothes, she was showered by the nuns and sprayed with lice powder. Martha was to assimilate, and she would have no say in the matter. She soon began to understand that she was powerless. When the priest took a liking to Martha, she was summoned by the nuns and forced to visit the priest for her “special lessons.” This continued until Martha became a teenager, and he lost interest.  Martha would attend residential school for ten years. Over the course of her education, Martha had moments of laughter and joy,  and she forgave the nuns when she realized that they were victims too, doing what they were told and taught not to question their chain of command. In her final years of school, Martha appeared calm and resigned. She returned home and would be scolded for not trying to hang on to her language. Years of estrangement would take a toll on mother and daughter and Martha had a lot of resentment for her mother who refused to hear her stories.  Her father had passed on, and he remained a memory. Martha left school with a high school education, and emotional wounds so deep they would never fully heal. When the school closed its doors for good, the trauma had already been done. 

Book Review: Seven Fallen Feathers Racism, Death and Hard Truths In A Northern City (Indigenous Author) Non Fiction

Book Review: Seven Fallen Feathers Racism, Death and Hard Truths In A Northern City (Indigenous Author) Non Fiction




The month that I read this book, I had to take it slow. Seven Fallen Feather by Tanya Talaga., hurt my heart. As an indigenous woman, and a mother this was difficult to read. 

Over the course of 11 years (2000-2011) seven indigenous teenagers were found dead, 5 of those were found in the river. This happened in Thunder Bay, Ontario while these children were attending high school, hundreds of miles away from their families. Living in remote communities, these children were forced to leave their homes if they wanted a chance to finish their high school education. Beyond the eighth grade, these children need to leave home because their communities don't have schools set up to educate them. Why? the funding isn't there. Can you imagine sending your child away from home at such a young age? These young teenagers are vulnerable, in many cases living with strangers, and the system failed them.

Book Review: Motorcycles and Sweetgrass by Drew Hayden Taylor (Indigenous Author)

Book Review: Motorcycles and Sweetgrass by Drew Hayden Taylor (Indigenous Author)


35-year-old Maggie is recently widowed, her mother has just passed, and her teenage son is becoming increasingly distant. Virgil is still struggling with his father’s death and the fact that his mother is never home. Maggie took on the responsibilities of becoming the Chief of Otter Lake when her husband passed. She has held the position of Chief for three years now, her husband was the previous chief and she felt that she needed to finish what he started. Maggie didn’t realize how taxing this role would be, the people she governed were always around, and never fearing to voice their opinions of what needs to be done. Upon Lillian’s death, John, a white man, riding a vintage Indian Chief motorcycle came to town to say goodbye. No one knows their history, but everyone is curious about him. Virgil happened to be peaking into his grandmother’s window when he noticed the two of them kissing passionately. Virgil was shocked and told no one. Since Lillian has passed, John has stuck around, and Maggie has been spending more and more time with him. Virgil is suspicious of John, he knows that there is more to him and worries about his mother, he decides to enlist the help of his Uncle.

Weekly Recap: Life, Indigenous Racism is still alive, Knowledge is power, Wet'suweten strong

Weekly Recap: Life, Indigenous Racism is still alive, Knowledge is power, Wet'suweten strong

It's Friday, and I have another weekly recap. We started the week with my son having a cold, and we're ending it with my husband and I also sick. Things they don't tell you when you have a child, you ALL get sick. My son also lost his second front tooth and it's cute to see him without them. I did change the domain name on this blog, I really wanted to open it up to who I am as a person. The domain littlecornerofmine is about this blog being my little corner on the internet. I can share what's on my mind, I can share reviews and I can try to provide some insight into Indigenous issues.

Dollar Tea Club 3 Samples for 1$ February Haul (Explorer Subscription)

Dollar Tea Club 3 Samples for 1$ February Haul (Explorer Subscription)

Are you a loose leaf tea person? I am and this is my second month subscribing to The Dollar Tea Club. I have the smallest package, they do have different size subscriptions. The Explorer has 3 sample packages and it costs 1$ plus shipping. It normally costs me 5.50$ and each pack does give you a few large size cups of tea. This month I received Love AcTeally, a black tea. Ruby Red Apple, an herbal tea and Long Island Strawberry, a green tea. I really like these sample packs but I do wish they allowed you to seal them again. I haven't tried all of these yet, but they do sound like flavours I would enjoy.

Three Indigenous On Deck Books (Native American Reads)

Three Indigenous On Deck Books (Native American Reads)

When I was in grade 2 or 3, I had a student-teacher who took an interest in me. I was the child who adored school and adored books. I told her I was Mi'kmaw and she came to school one day with a picture book that had a Native American girl in it, and I remember how excited I was to have a book with that had someone like me. I was always the only "Indian" in the class, and I didn't know much about my culture growing up in the city. I just knew I was Mik'maw and no one else identify as Indian. I can still remember bringing this book home and showing my parents. It wasn't until post-secondary education that I had access to more Native American authors. I love seeking out Indigenous authors because I can honestly tell you that I always learn something new in each book that I read. When you study a particular time and place, you don't get the 'feel' just the particulars. When you read books, fiction or nonfiction you're transported to the time and place and you can really feel the surroundings. Today, I want to bring you three Indigenous reads that are on my "on deck" reading pile.

Book Review: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Book Review: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother seem to live in a world of luxury in Nigeria.  Their father, a self-made man found Catholicism and devoted his life to the religion. He’s a wealthy man, but in actuality, he is a religious fanatic who shelters and controls his families every move. Kambili and Jaja have their daily lives scheduled for them, and they must never deviate from his plan. When political unrest sends Nigeria into a military coup, the family is threatened and their father sends them to live with his sister who lives a very different life. 

Cheekbone Beauty : Pink Pop Liquid Lipstick Trio and the Women Behind the Shade Names

Cheekbone Beauty : Pink Pop Liquid Lipstick Trio and the Women Behind the Shade Names
Cheekbone Beauty recently launched three new liquid lipstick shades, and while I love discovering the new shade selection I enjoy the announcement of the shade names just as much, if not more. That might sound strange; shade names are shade names but Cheekbone names each shade after a strong Indigenous woman. The end goal is to empower Indigenous youth. The lipstick collection is aptly named 'The Warrior Collection' and has a total of 17 shades. This brand is founded on the idea that we can all make a difference. We have such amazing women in our culture, it's really humbling to see all that our warriors have achieved. The newest trio of lipsticks is the Pink Pop Warrior Women. Full disclosure, I am apart of the brand ambassador program. I do not receive a commission from sales, but I do receive products to help promote the brand. I've loved Cheekbone Beauty long before I became an ambassador.

Weekly Recap: Grief, Morning Walks, Wet'suweten Strong

Weekly Recap: Grief, Morning Walks, Wet'suweten Strong


Friday has come again. I had a good week overall, but I have been struggling with knowing that March will be two years without my Mom. She was hospitalized in February and those dates keep swirling around in my head. I don't want to write too much about that here because I have been journaling and I will write a more dedicated post about grief pretty soon. I've been feeling really distant from my extended family and that's been hard. I'm not good about reaching out and I don't have many people in Montreal. My inlaws are supposed to visit in March, I think that will help.

I've been watching the Wet'suweten protests and it breaks my heart that Canada is still here. They still call in militarized RCMP when Indigenous people protest. The government calls for the Rule of Law, but the Rule of Law doesn't apply equally to us. The Rule of Law also allowed it to be illegal for Indigenous people to hire lawyers until 1951. Rule of Law has allowed them to break treaties over and over again. The Wet'suweten people are not a conquered people, they have not given up rights to their land. The Wet'suweten hereditary chiefs offered an alternate route for this pipeline to proceed, and it was denied. Now railways are being blocked and many people caught in the middle. For a government that promised to build relationships with reconciliation, it has time and time again proved that to be a lie. If you want to read an interesting article you can read "A Pipeline Offers a stark reminder of Canada's Ongoing Colonialist" by Alicia Elliot. I'm thinking of writing more education posts when it comes to Indigenous people in Canada. I think education is key, and we've been negatively portrayed for generations.

How To Read More (Deep Focus Reading, On Deck Pile, Tracking Your Reading, ASMR)

How To Read More (Deep Focus Reading, On Deck Pile, Tracking Your Reading, ASMR)

I'm a working mom, and I've lived in a world of books for as long as I can remember. Books have always been my form of entertainment and it's my form of self-care. When I know I'm reading and I'm finishing books at a pace that I'm comfortable with, I know I'm taking time for myself. If I look back at my yearly reading totals, I can tell you why my reading slowed down in certain years, it usually coincides with a huge life event. When I was newly grieving the loss of my mother, books helped to pull me out of the depths of grief and give me something else to think about. Books are comforting to me. If you're already a reader; these tips might be an added addition to your routine. If you're looking to find a new hobby, these might help to set you up for success.

Double Book Review: The Secret Daughter and The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Double Book Review: The Secret Daughter and The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda


Today, I'm bringing you two book reviews from books that I read quite a few years ago. The first is Secret Daughter, a debut novel as well as The Golden Son by author Shilpi Somaya Gowda. Both of these were 5 star reads for me, and I had previously reviewed them on my book blog. I decided to rewrite the posts and bring you a double review. Often we see new releases being reviewed, but you don't see that many backlist titles being reintroduced to readers. I have years of old blog posts, I'd like to work on and freshen up and I'll probably work on posting some of my favourite books I read.

Book Review: Open Book by Jessica Simpson



Book Review: Open Book by Jessica Simpson





As this book was about to release, I Googled the year Newlyweds was released and I calculated how old I was at the time; I was 18 years old and I closely followed Jessica Simpson for years before the show aired. So, it's safe to say I've been a longtime fan of hers. I remember reading her blog on her website many moons ago. Throughout her career, Jessica Simpson has been the butt of many jokes, and often you'll see her laughing along but for the first time, her audience can really get a sense of what was going on in her life. On the audiobook, you'll hear Jessica cry and laugh along. Within the first chapter, Jessica mentions she "know[s] there are people who think [she] can't string two thoughts together, let alone sentences" and to me, this sentence really sets the tone for her to open up and tell her side of the story, in her own words. If you've been a fan, you'll want to pick up "Open Book," it far surpassed my expectations.

Month in Review: January 2020


Month in Review: January 2020


January was back to work, back to school, back to extracurriculars,  back to our regular routine. I was a bit hesitant about the "back to school" because my son was showing some signs on anxiousness before the break, and it did show up again a few weeks into the month. I decided not to wait, and I reached out to his teacher. She was quite surprised by what I had to say, she didn't realize that my son doesn't do well with change, that he likes to attach to people who he feels comfortable with, and it was a very productive meeting. Once he felt like he was heard, and that we were going to work with him, we started to see improvement pretty quickly.

Monthly Lifestyle Favorites (Tea Hippie, Davids Tea, Airpods, Manitobah Mukluks, Amazon Kindle)

Monthly Lifestyle Favorites (Tea Hippie, Davids Tea, Airpods, Manitobah Mukluks, Amazon Kindle)

Am I the only one who felt like January flew by? I kept seeing posts about January feeling so long and drawn out, and I didn't feel that way at all. I guess that's a good thing. I'm not a fan of winter, but I do like slowing down, staying home and enjoying the coziness of home. In an attempt to include more lifestyle content, I want to start posting my monthly favourites. I've been including more book content and I'm working to expand this blog. I want this to be my creative space, my corner of the internet and I want to keep it open and fun. I hope these changes are positive. I'm excited about the possibilities. Let's get into the favourites!

Tea Hippie Butter Beer, and David's Tea Nordic Mugs

A pot of tea is essential to my morning routine. I make a pot, pour a mug of tea and fill up my thermos for work. This month I've been on a hunt to find new loose teas. I found a Canadian shop on Etsy called Tea Hippie and they had really interesting blends. I immediately saw some Harry Potter inspired blends and I couldn't wait to try Butter Beer. This is a black tea (my favourite) that includes; almonds, coriander, red peppercorns and natural flavouring. It's really good and I can see myself ordering more from this shop. I've also been enjoying some new Nordic Mugs from David's Tea. Honestly, I have about 15 of these mugs and they are just perfect. I love the shape, size and the designs. This particular cat mug is colour changing. When you add water, stars show up. So cute!

Book Review: One Native Life by Richard Wagamese (Indigenous Author)

Book Review: One Native Life by Richard Wagamese



One Native Life sat on my shelf for years, and it's one I wish I would have picked up sooner. It’s really hard to even review this one because it was such a personal read for me. Richard Wagamese passed away in 2017, he was an Ojibway man and a master storyteller. I previously read Indian Horse and loved it as well but this book REALLY SPOKE to me. It made me reflect on my life in so many ways and made me understand that I wasn’t the only one who struggled with what it meant to be Native. Many Indigenous people struggle with identity and what it means to be Native when you're so disconnected from your culture.

Review: Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez




Review: Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez




I'm always on the lookout for Canadian fiction, and having this book titled "Scarborough" really drew me in. Scarborough is a diverse city, east of Toronto. As a Montrealer, it's not that far away from me. Like many inner-city communities, Scarborough has it's a fair share of people living in poverty, and crime. Scarborough tells a narrative through many voices. We have the adults and the children's view which really adds to the storyline. Victor is a black artist, harassed by the police. Hina, a Muslim School worker who tries her best to help the children and families. Wimsum, a West Indian restaurant owner who's struggling with the day to day. Then we have three children who have to rise above a system that doesn't help them succeed. Silvie and Bing are best friends, Silvie is Native and living with her family in a shelter. Bing, an intelligent gay Filipino boy who has a father dealing with mental illness. Laura, a white girl who's parents have a history of neglect. Her father doesn't know where her next meal is coming from. This is a book that will open your eyes and break your heart.