Book Review: The Comeback: How Aboriginals Are Reclaiming Power and Influence by John Ralston Saul

By Michelle Nieviadomy

From The Catalyst, Summer 2015

The Comeback: How Aboriginals Are Reclaiming Power and Influence
By John Ralston Saul
Penguin Books, 2014

Reviewed by Michelle Nieviadomy

The Comeback is a timely book that captures an uncensored narrative of the current status of our nation. It depicts the relationship between Indigenous people and Canada. Saul brings to light numerous historical accounts framing the current reality of Indigenous people. While this reality is one of injustice and struggle, he sheds equal light on the remarkable stories of countless Indigenous people who characterize the strength, resiliency, courage, and gifts they bring to this nation.

Saul calls non-Indigenous readers into action for the integrity of our nation. This means acknowledging that we are all treaty people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. The narrative of injustice is the story of all people in Canada. He also calls readers into a deeper level of truth and understanding while suggesting there is no room for sympathy but rather a call to pursue justice and share responsibility. If our nation is going to write a new narrative, Indigenous people will play an integral role to rebuilding this country.

Saul has thoughtfully navigated a path through which non-Indigenous people could “embrace and support the comeback of the original peoples.” As a Cree woman who deeply desires to see restoration not only for my own people but for all communities, I was glad that this book speaks to the desire for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to build right relationships.

I continuously witness truly awe-inspiring Indigenous leaders, youth, artists, and advocates. To have a non-Indigenous author acknowledge the strong voice and powerful example Indigenous people are in Canada is truly honoring.

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