The Reason You Walk: A Memoir by Wab KinewThe Reason You Walk: A Memoir by Wab Kinew

The Reason You Walk: A Memoir

byWab Kinew

Hardcover | September 29, 2015

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A moving father-son reconciliation told by a charismatic First Nations broadcaster, musician and activist.
          When his father was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Winnipeg broadcaster and musician Wab Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting with the accomplished but distant aboriginal man who'd raised him. The Reason You Walk spans the year 2012, chronicling painful moments in the past and celebrating renewed hopes and dreams for the future. As Kinew revisits his own childhood in Winnipeg and on a reserve in Northern Ontario, he learns more about his father's traumatic childhood at residential school. An intriguing doubleness marks The Reason You Walk, a reference to an Anishinaabe ceremonial song. Born to an Anishinaabe father and a non-native mother, he has a foot in both cultures. He is a Sundancer, an academic, a former rapper, a hereditary chief, and an urban activist. His father, Tobasonakwut, was both a beloved traditional chief and a respected elected leader who engaged directly with Ottawa. Internally divided, his father embraced both traditional native religion and Catholicism, the religion that was inculcated into him at the residential school where he was physically and sexually abused. In a grand gesture of reconciliation, Kinew's father invited the Roman Catholic bishop of Winnipeg to a Sundance ceremony in which he adopted him as his brother. Kinew writes affectingly of his own struggles in his twenties to find the right path, eventually giving up a self-destructive lifestyle to passionately pursue music and martial arts. From his unique vantage point, he offers an inside view of what it means to be an educated aboriginal living in a country that is just beginning to wake up to its aboriginal history and living presence.
     Invoking hope, healing and forgiveness, The Reason You Walk is a poignant story of a towering but damaged father and his son as they embark on a journey to repair their family bond. By turns lighthearted and solemn, Kinew gives us an inspiring vision for family and cross-cultural reconciliation, and a wider conversation about the future of aboriginal peoples.
WAB KINEW was named by Postmedia News as one of "9 Aboriginal movers and shakers you should know." He is the Associate Vice-President for Indigenous Relations at The University of Winnipeg and a correspondent with Al-Jazeera America. After successfully defending Joseph Boyden's The Orenda on CBC's Canada Reads literary competition, he ...
Title:The Reason You Walk: A MemoirFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.3 × 6.3 × 1 inPublished:September 29, 2015Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0670069345

ISBN - 13:9780670069347


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Read! I loved this book, and I learned a lot about not only Wab but his upbringing and culture. He had every excuse and opportunity to take his life down a different path but he persevered and is now a strong leader and a good man.
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it Great writing with a strong story that every Canadian should read
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book! I had to read this novel for one of my classes, and it was amazing!! Would recommend to anyone
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring Really enjoyed this book -powerful Canadian story.
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful If you buy this because of the cover outline or a book review, Mr. Kinew delivers what's promised. It is an important book. Parts of the account are hard to read - even hard to accept - but many people will benefit by the sharing of this family's story, whether you are Indigenous or not. Most compelling for me was Mr. Kinew's conclusion: the reason he walks. For a fairly young man, and from a very personal place, his insight could apply to us all.
Date published: 2016-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful, honourable and heartbreaking. We all bring the past forward with each new generation. Mr Kinew expresses this with his amazing descriptions of the growth and change within traditions, nations and familial relationships. All with amazing hope for the future.
Date published: 2015-10-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Book That Should Be Read By All Canadians! Wab Kinew's Autobiography is a book that not only talks about the importance of one's family; but gives us a look back at the Cultural Genocide that went on in Canada. He describes in detail the abuse that his Father and others went through - as well as the significance of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. He describes the lessons that he has learned in life and how important it is to stand up and fight for your beliefs. I highly recommend this book to all Canadians!
Date published: 2015-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Important and Fascinating Reading Wab Kinew's dad was a survivor of the residential schools. Sharing his story is an important step in understanding the mistakes of the past. Kinew also fills the narrative with tales of his culture's customs and leaves us with hope of a better future. A worthy read!
Date published: 2015-07-20

Editorial Reviews

#1 Globe and Mail Nonfiction BestsellerA Toronto Star Nonfiction BestsellerFinalist for the RBC Taylor PrizeShortlisted for the Ontario Library Service North 2017 Louise de Kiriline Award for Nonfiction“Witness the thrilling rise of not only a First Nations star but a Canadian one. The Reason You Walk points the way toward a new era of reconciliation and redemption - and shows us how a man who's anchored by his language, his culture and his family is unstoppable.”—Joseph Boyden, author of The Orenda"Brutally honest, original, funny, uncomfortable, and compelling.” —RBC Taylor Prize Jury Citation“This book combines Kinew’s disarming personality and his willingness to share highly personal material – in this case, the life and death of his father, Tobasonakwut – to demonstrate the immense power of family and forgiveness as tools of reconciliation… This is not just a memoir, it’s a meditation on the purpose of living.” —The Globe and Mail   “His story has no filters. It pursues forgiveness, but not by running away from the ugliness that makes forgiveness necessary.” —Quill & Quire