“The Inconvenient Indian – A Curious Account of Native People in North America” by Thomas King
Joining the Be In Christ Church of Canada Summer Book Club is simple:
- Get a copy of “The Inconvenient Indian” by Thomas King
- Find some friends and start reading, or you can do it on your own!
- Follow along and join the discussion on: www.facebook.com/biccanadabookclub
BIC Church Canada Summer Book Club
Welcome to the BIC Church Canada Summer 2018 Book Club!
Over the next 8 weeks we are going to be reading The Inconvenient Indian – A Curious Account of Native People in North America by Thomas King. In this book, King engages his readers in a conversation that responds to his sharp account of the relationship between non-Native and Native people in North American in the centuries since the two first encountered each other.
King is one of Canada’s premier public intellectuals. He has authored 5 novels, two collections of short stories and several books for children. This book is a historical narrative and the Toronto Star regarded it so highly, that it recommended that the book be read by every Canadian.
It is intentional that we chose an indigenous author who could challenge us to take a fresh look at the events that shaped this continent. Thomas King is not a Christian, but there is so much he can teach us about our history.
“Looking Forward into our Past”
In the indigenous worldview, the past is in front of us, not behind us. In the recently released movie, Indian Horse, Saul Indian Horse says, “You don’t know where you are going, until you know where you have been.” We will be using this book study to ‘look forward into our past’ regarding Native and non-Native relationships.
Our prayer is that, together, we will gain wisdom on how we can walk the path towards repaired and reconciled Native and non-Native relationships. Reconciliation means, “living in a right relationship,” and this book sheds light on broken relationships in Canada that need to be rebuilt, so that relations can mend. As Christ-followers, we are mandated to understand the truth of past and present injustices in order to live out God’s call for peace and reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 2:18 “All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”
Together, we are going to prayerfully read, ponder and discuss the content of King’s book as an intentional step towards better understanding the relationship between Native and non-Native people. Taking this step is a commitment to consider repentance and to move in solidarity towards reconciliation with a goal to build a stronger and healthier future in Canada.
While reading this book together, we will keep Jesus’ inaugural message in mind,
“The Spirit of Creator has come to rest on me. He has chosen me to tell the Good Story to the ones who are poor. He has sent me to mend broken hearts, to tell prisoners they have been set free to make the blind see again, and to lift up the ones who have been pushed down – to make it known that Creator’s Year of Setting Free (year of the Lord’s favour) has come at last.”
First Nations Version 2017
About the Book
(taken from penguinrandomhouse.ca)
Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, The Inconvenient Indian distills the insights gleaned from Thomas King’s critical and personal meditation on what it means to be “Indian” in North America, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. In the process, King refashions old stories about historical events and figures, takes a sideways look at film and pop culture, relates his own complex experiences with activism, and articulates a deep and revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.
This is a book both timeless and timely, burnished with anger but tempered by wit, and ultimately a hard-won offering of hope–a sometimes inconvenient but nonetheless indispensable account for all of us, Indian and non-Indian alike, seeking to understand how we might tell a new story for the future.
Learn About the Book:
Learn More onPenguin Random House Canada
Learn More onCBC Canada Reads
Learn More onGoodReads
About the Facilitator
Nancy Jane Johnson
“We are a global community. People experiencing poverty and oppression are our neighbours. When they cry out in pain, we hear their pain and can respond with the love and message of Jesus. I will not be a bystander!”
Nancy Jane Johnson is our facilitator of the BIC Summer 2018 Book Club. She attends BIC Reunion Church in Oakville with her family. Nancy Jane served on the pastoral team of Spring Garden Church and was an interim lead pastor and the Global Mission pastor at The Meeting House. Her passion, while serving in these roles, was to train and take others on learning and compassion teams to the Global South to experience mutually beneficial cross-cultural exchanges. Nancy Jane was deeply transformed as she learned about integral mission and living out faith, the importance of community and of nationals leading in their own contexts, and witnessed the resiliency and courage of people who live in extreme poverty in global or local settings.
Nancy Jane has trained or taken over 500 Canadians of all ages to serve on short-term teams in 20 countries on 5 continents. Her desire was to see returning team members and churches become more effective advocates for those trapped by poverty or who experience oppression.
Seven years ago, Nancy Jane re-connected with a team of South Pacific islanders called Loko Koa (Brave Soul), who were serving with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) amongst Canada’s First Nations in Saskatchewan. Nancy Jane advises and serves the team in their community development projects, reaching out to 17 nearby reserves. Four years ago, she was a part of a reconciliation initiative that gifted a herd of buffalo back to the Peepeekisis First Nation.
Nancy Jane now advocates for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada and encourages Christ-followers and churches to be a part of mending these relationships.
Nancy Jane is married to Wayne, has two married daughters and 2 grandchildren. She has undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Education and has her Masters of Divinity (Counseling).