Kuei, My Friend is an engaging book of letters: a literary and political encounter between poet Natasha Kanapé Fontaine and author Deni Ellis Béchard. Within the contexts of the Idle No More movement, Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls, the letters in Kuei, My Friend pose questions in a reciprocal manner: How can we coexist if our common history involves collective and personal episodes of shame, injury, and anger? How can we educate non- Indigenous communities about the impact of cultural genocide on the First Peoples and the invisible privileges resulting from historical modes of domination? By sharing honestly even their most painful memories, these two writers offer an accessible, humanist book on social bridge-building and respect for difference.
The book is accompanied by a chronology of events, a glossary of relevant terms in the Innu language, and, most importantly, a detailed teacher’s guide that includes topics of discussion, questions, and suggested reflections for examination in a classroom setting.