Introducing Common Reads!
We are launching a Common Reads initiative to engage new and existing small groups in a unifying exploration. Your current small group or book group may choose to read these titles, or you can sign-up to form a new group at ucv.im/reads. We will connect people to groups based on your time of day availability.
To start we have picked two books to explore between April and September:
- “Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It” by author and UCV Board Member Bruce McIvor
- “The Skin We’re In” by Desmond Cole.
The titles are timely, urgent, and compelling reads consistent with our congregation’s commitment to intellectual engagement and work to dismantle racism.
Lifespan director Kiersten Moore has several copies of both books available to be checked out, and we also encourage members who grow their own library to purchase the books from local independent booksellers.
Fill out this form to be connected to a new Common Reads circle, or to receive Common Reads updates for your existing small group.
About the Books
“Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It“
Faced with a constant stream of news reports of standoffs and confrontations, Canada’s “reconciliation project” has obviously gone off the rails. In this series of concise and thoughtful essays, lawyer and historian Bruce McIvor explains why reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is failing and what needs to be done to fix it.
Widely known as a passionate advocate for Indigenous rights, McIvor reports from the front lines of legal and political disputes that have gripped the nation. From Wet’suwet’en opposition to a pipeline in northern British Columbia, to Mi’kmaw exercising their fishing rights in Nova Scotia, McIvor has been actively involved in advising First Nation clients, fielding industry and non-Indigenous opposition to true reconciliation, and explaining to government officials why their policies are failing.
“The Skin We’re In“
A bracing, provocative, and perspective-shifting book from one of Canada’s most celebrated and uncompromising writers, Desmond Cole. The Skin We’re In will spark a national conversation, influence policy, and inspire activists.
In his 2015 cover story for Toronto Life magazine, Desmond Cole exposed the racist actions of the Toronto police force, detailing the dozens of times he had been stopped and interrogated under the controversial practice of carding. The story quickly came to national prominence, shaking the country to its core and catapulting its author into the public sphere. Cole used his newfound profile to draw insistent, unyielding attention to the injustices faced by Black Canadians on a daily basis.
About the Authors
Dr. Bruce McIvor is recognized nationally and internationally as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in Aboriginal law. Bruce represents First Nations across Canada and teaches at the University of British Columbia’s Allard School of Law. His great-grandparents took Métis scrip at Red River in Manitoba. He is a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation.
Desmond Cole is an award-winning journalist, radio host, and activist in Toronto. His writing has appeared in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life, The Walrus, NOW Magazine, Ethnic Aisle, Torontoist, BuzzFeed, and the Ottawa Citizen. His first book, The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power, was published in 2020. (from Penguin Random House publisher and Canadian Museum of History)