High school students learn about missing Indigenous women at ‘A Room of Your Own’ book club event

More than 90 female high school students from the Thames Valley District School Board and the London District Catholic School Board will learn about truth and reconciliation and how it affects missing Indigenous women in Canada during a special event this Friday at Western University’s Faculty of Education.

Author Melanie Florence will read a portion of her book, ‘The Missing,’ a fictional thriller that explores one teenager’s response to a judicial system that has long denied and misrepresented the problem of missing Indigenous women in Canada.

“Before reconciliation can take place, the truth first must be told and then acknowledged,” said Florence. “For missing Indigenous women, their voices need to be heard. I hope my novel can lead to healing and that we never forget these women.”

Western’s Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children (CREVAWC) is hosting, ‘A Room of Your Own’ book club event on Friday, December 7. The interactive book club, founded by Tanya Lee last year, aims to teach youth about healthy relationships.

“Book discussions are a great way to highlight what is a healthy and unhealthy relationship,” said Barbara MacQuarrie, CREVAWC Community Director. “It gives youth the opportunity to discuss what they’ve learned, their concerns and the author’s perspective in a safe and welcoming environment.”

Lee started the book club at the Toronto Public Library in January 2017 because reading provided her with a safe haven from her family when she was growing up. The club is for girls from at-risk communities between 13 to 18 years of age. There are clubs in a number of communities and Lee has partnered with CREVAWC to provide the book club to girls in London and Middlesex County.

“I know there are other girls out there who are suffering and I want them to realize there’s a world outside of their own,” said Lee. “That’s why I started the book club.”
One class from Toronto will travel to Western to participate.

Media are invited to attend the event. Interviews with MacQuarrie and Florence are available before and after the event.

WHEN: Friday, December 7 from 12 noon to 2 p.m.
WHERE: Faculty of Education, Room 1139 (1137 Western Road), Western University

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, 519-520-7281 (mobile), jrenaud9@uwo.ca

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