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A vital collection weaving history, personal experience, and Indigenous resilienceSpells, Wishes, and the Talking Dead: mamahtawisiwin, pakos yimow, nikihci- niskot p n
is a wonder. It plays with form, space, and language, comparing meanings in English and n hiyaw win (Plains Cree). The reader's attention is drawn to the restrictive and imposed constructs of English grammar, the way it boxes in interpretation and cadence.
With inspiring defiance, Wanda John-Kehewin demonstrates which magics cannot be suppressed. Broken into three sections, Spells, Wishes, and the Talking Dead looks at the sickening grip of colonialism: its ongoing detriment to the mental health of Indigenous people, its theft of language, and the scope of its intergenerational harms. The author places herself, her work, and her family's personal experiences in the context of a historical timeline running from the so-called doctrine of discovery to the present day. Recounting the two in tandem reveals the unrelenting nature of violence and, in turn, resistance. There is great power in truth; John-Kehewin "stands in her truth" so that other survivors may stand in theirs.