“Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths, a debut poetry collection by author and filmmaker Jules Arita Koostachin, delves into the life and the healing of an lnnininew woman from the ancestral lands of the Moshkekowok, now called Northern Ontario. It is through the process of writing broken poetry—visual poetry rooted in the haunting memories of her childhood—that she provides the reader a glimpse into the mind of child survivor who was saved by her ancestors. This thought-provoking poetry sheds light on a personal account of how she comes to terms with intergenerational trauma inflicted by the residential school system.
Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths explores heartfelt and evocative experiences through the eyes of an Indigenous woman. Through the honesty of her words, she embraces the spirit world, the resilience of her foremothers, the integral healing powers of disassociation as a survival mechanism, and the richness of her mitewin—dreams—which reconnects her to herself. Through her poetry, she has found the courage to face her difficult past, and now as a mother, she is gathering the truths of her family to help in the healing process.
Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths was short-listed for the 2019 Indigenous Voices Award in Published Poetry in English.”