Resulting from numerous events in Canada which impacted her family, Monique Gray Smith grew up with the silent shame of internalized racism unable to identify with her culture as a First Nations child. Thankfully Monique’s precious being shines today through characters wisely written in her inspiring novel Tilly: a Story of Hope and Resilience. Loosely based on her own journey, Tilly also marks historical events of immense cultural impact. Monique witnessed first-hand resiliency of human spirit, both working on acute psychiatric wards in Vancouver and in her business, Little Drum Consulting; each reflected her exploration to self-acceptance. In her process, Monique was gifted her traditional name during a Yuweepi Ceremony, more grounded healing which supported her being sober over twenty-two years. She hopes her book allows all people to see the First People’s of our country through a different lens – to be empathic toward current and historical situations, and honour the amazing breakthroughs.

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