Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City

Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City

by Tanya Talaga
  • critically-acclaimed
  • history-politics-current-affairs
  • indigenous
  • true-crime

From 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario, hundreds of miles away from their families in a foreign and unwelcoming city.

In this bestselling and award-winning work of narrative nonfiction, Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this northern city to examine the education system, police brutality, discrimination, and the opportunity for justice for the next generation.

Now a NATIONAL BESTSELLER (75,000 copies sold!).


Tanya Talaga, author

Tanya Talaga has been a journalist at the Toronto Star for twenty years, covering everything from general city news to education, national healthcare, foreign news, and Indigenous affairs. She has been nominated five times for the Michener Award in public service journalism, and she is the 2017–2018 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy.


  • In "Seven Fallen Feathers", Tanya Talaga delves into the lives of seven Indigenous students who died while attending high school in Thunder Bay over the first eleven years of this century. With a narrative voice encompassing lyrical creation myth, razor-sharp reporting, and a searing critique of Canada’s ongoing colonial legacy, Talaga binds these tragedies — and the ambivalent response from police and government — into a compelling tapestry. This vivid, wrenching book shatters the air of abstraction that so often permeates news of the injustices Indigenous communities face every day. It is impossible to read "Seven Fallen Feathers" and not care about the lives lost, the families thrust into purgatory, while the rest of society looks away. - Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury Citation
  • Talaga has written Canada’s "J’accuse", an open letter to the rest of us about the many ways we contribute — through act or inaction — to suicides and damaged existences in Canada’s Indigenous communities. Tanya Talaga’s account of teen lives and deaths in and near Thunder Bay is detailed, balanced and heart-rending. Talaga describes gaps in the system large enough for beloved children and adults to fall through, endemic indifference, casual racism and a persistent lack of resources. It is impossible to read this book and come away unchanged. - RBC Taylor Prize Jury Citation
  • This is a book that everyone should read... [it] will grip you, make you think and help you understand better what has led up to the horrific experiences of young people cut down too soon. It connects the local experience to the larger experience of Canada and is a cry for justice, human rights and respect. - The Chronicle Journal
  • Talaga’s research is meticulous and her journalistic style is crisp and uncompromising. . . . The book is heartbreaking and infuriating, both an important testament to the need for change and a call to action. - Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
  • [A]n urgent and unshakable portrait of the horrors faced by Indigenous teens going to school in Thunder Bay, Ontario, far from their homes and families. . . . Talaga’s incisive research and breathtaking storytelling could bring this community one step closer to the healing it deserves. - Booklist, STARRED REVIEW


  • Finalist, 2018 B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
  • Finalist, 2017 Speaker's Book Award
  • Finalist, 2017 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
  • Winner, 2018 RBC Taylor Prize

Rights Holder

Rights Holder: House of Anansi Press



rights sold: Australia/New Zealand (Scribe)

rights available: World, excl. English North America; Australia/New Zealand

Additional Information

number of pages: 315

publication date: 09/30/2017

Original language of pub: English

Materials Available: finished book