By Judy Bird

When Carol Daniels received the phone call from a publisher telling her they wanted to publish her book Bearskin Diary, she was rendered speechless.

“I didn’t even talk for a while. I just kind of stood there for a while and I was talking to my cat and dog, “oh my god, oh my god!” and then Lyle came home and I didn’t know how to tell him. I had gotten so many rejection letters that to finally get this one that says okay we’re going to do this, and it’s not only we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it big,” said Daniels.

She finally was able to tell her husband, Lyle Daniels, that the book was accepted, and that it was reaching an audience beyond what she imagined.

“It’s been released world-wide, it’s been translated into Italian and German and French and Spanish and Eastonian, Japanese; it’s been translated into 10 languages world wide,” said Daniels.

Carol Daniels 2

Carol Daniels signs a copy of her book. Photo credit: Judy Bird.

She celebrated the book launch with a reading at Tatanka Boutique in Regina on November 5.

The book is about a First Nation girl who was taken from her family at birth during the 60s scoop. The main character, Sandy, endures a painful childhood in the foster care system, and later as an adult working as a journalist, she faces discrimination and racism every day. As she works to discover her roots and tradition, she begins to heal from the hurts instilled by others, and herself.

Daniels said the book is not an autobiography; she simply followed the lessons she learned in classes about writing fiction, and that is to write what you know.

Daniels was taken from her family in the 60s scoop, and raised by a non First Nation family. She became a journalist, working in the field for about 30 years.

She hopes the book will get people talking about the 60s scoop, and warns that it is filled with some harsh truths.

“I think a lot of the things that I wrote in there are really quite dark and in your face. It’s not a polite book to read. If you’re expecting polite conversation in this book, you’re going to be upset,” she said.

“A lot of Canadians didn’t know about the scoop up. Until recently, nobody was speaking about the scoop up. Kids who have gone through that experience, and I have, we’re constantly feeling like we’re alienated, isolated, nobody listens, nobody understands, where do I go. I’m hoping that it somehow adds to the dialogue that’s starting in Canada now to say we’re not alone. If you’re still feeling disconnected, there are ways to go find people to help you figure out or undo the things that have been said to you. A lot of scoop kids I now talk to are feeling the same thing,” Daniels added.

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