Killing the Wittigo
Indigenous Culture-Based Approaches to Waking Up, Taking Action, and Doing the Work of Healing
An unflinching reimagining of Legacy: Trauma, Story, and Indigenous Healing for young adults
Written specifically for young adults, reluctant readers, and literacy learners, Killing the Wittigo explains the traumatic effects of colonization on Indigenous people and communities and how trauma alters an individual’s brain, body, and behavior. It explores how learned patterns of behavior — the ways people adapt to trauma to survive — are passed down within family systems, thereby affecting the functioning of entire communities. The book foregrounds Indigenous resilience through song lyrics and as-told-to stories by young people who have started their own journeys of decolonization, healing, and change. It also details the transformative work being done in urban and on-reserve communities through community-led projects and Indigenous-run institutions and community agencies. These stories offer concrete examples of the ways in which Indigenous peoples and communities are capable of healing in small and big ways — and they challenge readers to consider what the dominant society must do to create systemic change. Full of bold graphics and illustration, Killing the Wittigo is a much-needed resource for Indigenous kids and the people who love them and work with them.
Suzanne Methot is the author of Legacy: Trauma, Story, and Indigenous Healing. She has worked in adult literacy and skills-training, as a museum educator, and as a teacher, creating a classroom program for Indigenous students experiencing intergenerational trauma. Born in Vancouver and raised in Peace River, Alberta, Suzanne is Nehiyaw of mixed Indigenous and European heritage. She lives on Gabriola Island, B.C., on the unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw Nation.