Wab Kinew is a broadcast journalist, musician and works at the University of Winnipeg. He is originally from Onigaming First Nation in north western Ontario before his parents moved the family to Winnipeg. He was the narrator of the show, 8th Fire, among many other accomplishments, including being a father, son and husband. For a man who’s only 33, Wab has so much experience in life already.
The Reason You Walk is an amazing memoir. Wab begins by talking about his fathers life, who’s since passed away. Tobasonakwut was a residential school survivor, he was a grand chief, and he taught at a few universities. Wab talked about their spiritual and cultural journey together. Both father and son had their challenges earlier in their lives and weren’t very close for a few reasons, including the abuses that Tobasonakwut suffered in the residential schools. Their story is a beautiful one of reconciliation and growth and becoming closer. Wab and Tobasonakwut even created an Anishaanabowen language app together to help young Anishaanabe people learn their language. It’s truly an incredible story. I am so sorry for Wab and his family that they had to say goodbye to Tobasonakwut for now, but I think it sounds like he has left such an amazing legacy.
Memoirs and other stories, fiction or non-fiction, are such an important reminder of the effects of colonization and the abuses of the residential schools. It’s been devastating, but it’s more then that. People like Wab, other indigenous people and non-indigenous allies are beginning to open a discourse about how to work on reconciliation, which is so very important. It’s very interesting and informative to read about people like Wab Kinew who are inspiring such important changes in Canada. I love learning about indigenous cultures in Canada as well.
Another thing that I thought was interesting was how The Reason You Walk is how familiar the territory was. I was raised the area where Wab and his family are from before I moved away, so towns like Kenora, Winnipeg, Fort Frances, and Lake of the Woods are familiar to me. It hit home it’s own special way knowing personally what it looks like where they lived.
Wab Kinew is a really interesting person and learning about him and his family was great. I would really recommend the book to any one who would like an interesting and informative book to read.