The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew

The Reason You Walk

A moving story of father-son reconciliation told by a charismatic Aboriginal star.When his father was given a diagnosis of terminal cancer, Winnipeg broadcaster and musician Wab Kinew decided to spend a year reconnecting with the accomplished but distant aboriginal man who’d raised him. The Reason You Walk spans that 2012 year, chronicling painful moments in the past and celebrating renewed hopes and dreams for the future. As Kinew revisits his...

Details The Reason You Walk

TitleThe Reason You Walk
Release DateSep 29th, 2015
PublisherViking Canada
GenreNonfiction, Cultural, Canada, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography

Reviews The Reason You Walk

  • Carolyn
    WOW what a great read. I am not sure this will go down as a life altering book. It certainly will not go down as fabulous literature. This is however a really great love story between a boy and his father, between a man and his people, and between a people and their desire to hold onto and live their culture (not to mention a fabulous tribute that recognizes a remarkable life journey). Having heard Mr. Kinew speak on a couple of occasions, I coul...
  • Shannon
    This book is a powerful and important memoir for all Canadians! The Reason You Walk should be mandatory reading in High School/University! Wab Kinew has the gift of storytelling and brings to life our painful (and shameful) history. From the abuse that his Father and thousands of others endured at the hands of those running the Residential Schools, to the vital Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. He talks about how important our famili...
  • Fischwife
    I really wanted to like this book more than I did.I am Cree, and I have worked in the Aboriginal community, teaching Native Studies. My grandmother was a residential school survivor. I live with the intergenerational effects of that. My mother-in-law and her sisters and brothers are residential school survivors.In addition, my mother died of cancer. She was only in her 50s. So, there were many reasons for me to read this book and to feel connecte...
  • Anne Laurie
    Every Canadian should read this book. It teaches us not only about Canada's past in the treatment of First Nations, but understands how we can all learn to forgive and love one another. Moreover, it gives an inside look of several First Nations traditions. Everyone can learn a lot from this reading.
  • Hilary Scroggie
    I started this the day before my mother-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Sometimes the right book finds you at the right moment and you can only be grateful.
  • Sarah
    Watching Canada Reads a couple years ago and being so moved by Wab's impassioned defence of Joseph Boyden's The Orenda, I wondered 'who is this guy!? Then, being so impressed seeing him speak here in Kelowna a few weeks ago I knew I wanted to know more about this polished orator, activist and forthright man. Writing of his childhood, Anishinaabe culture and traditions, the chapter describing the sundance ceremony was especially moving. Even more-...
  • Chelsey
    A moving story about resilience, forgiveness, culture and the strength of family. Wab's father, a residential school survivor, endured years of horror at the hands of others and as a result, was filled with anger as a young man. Wab tells the story of his father's journey through reconciliation and forgiveness and ties in his own personal story as well. I absolutely loved learning about the Anishinaabe culture, and getting to know Wab's family, w...
  • Krista
    I am the reason you walk. I created you so that you might walk this earth.I am the reason you walk. I gave you motivation so you would continue to walk even when the path became difficult, even seemingly impossible.I am the reason you walk. I animated you with that driving force called love, which compelled you to help others who had forgotten they were brothers and sisters to take steps back towards one another.And now, my son, as that journey c...
  • Steven Langdon
    Canada is being shaken by the strength of ongoing protest from aboriginal peoples about their past treatment by the national government and other institutions of our society, particularly the church authorities who implemented the residential schools to which indigenous children were forced to go, where they were subject to abusive treatment and forced assimilation. This book is a forceful explanation of this protest, a heartfelt plea for new dir...
  • Krista
    Wab Kinew came to speak at a staff event I attended, and he was an amazing speaker. While I didn't enjoy his book as much as his speech, he does have some very important messages that we would all benefit from listening to.
  • Lyndsay
    For all those asking, "Now what?" when referring to reconciliation with Canada's aboriginal peoples, this book is a promising place to start.
  • ❀ Susan G
    2017-01-15“We have a choice in life – we can choose how we are going to behave. We can determine whether we reflect the good around us or lose ourselves in the darkness”.The Reason You Walk is a memoir written by Wab Kinew which describes the time he spent with his father reflecting on their relationship, his childhood and forgiveness. The story is told in the shadow of his father’s traumatic experience in a ...
  • Allison
    I was first introduced and wooed by Wab Kinew when he hosted Canada Reads. He's clearly an intelligent and impressive man, and since that 2015 series ran, I've kept a distant eye on him. When he was interviewed on "The Next Chapter" for this autobiography, I ran out immediately and purchased the book. I dove in. The book is so thoughtful and is a lovely testament to a love, a healing, between a man and his father. I appreciated it as such. I also...
  • PEI Public Library Service
    “The Reason You Walk” by Wab Kinew focuses on the lives of a father and son. The author’s father, Tobasonakwut Kinew, receives a diagnosis of terminal cancer, and the younger man decides to drop everything and spend time getting to know his father. The lives of both men are reviewed from childhood to the present. The senior Kinew spent much of his boyhood and early years in residential schools. The younger Kinew escaped the trauma of reside...
  • Erin L
    I wish I could properly thank the author for a book that shares a family's life and experience with readers. Actually, there are a lot of things I wish after reading this book, but wishes do nothing for us. I highly recommend reading this if you've ever had any interest at all in knowing more about residential schools in Canada. If you've ever thought that indigenous people demanded too much. If you ever wished they would just go away. Wab's fath...
  • Orie at Let's Take A Shelfie
    This review and more can be found on my blog Let's Take a Shelfie.I am embarrassed to say that before last year, I had no idea who Wab Kinew was (Sorry!). Before starting my blog, reading Canadian literature was a rare occurrence. Enter, Canada Reads 2015. From the moment I learned about the competition, I immersed myself in everything I could including reading all of the short listed books, participating in the Google Hangout, live tweeting the ...
  • Jennifer Rayment
    A very powerful memoir and one that really made me think about my own ignorance of my fellow Canadians. This one has been really sticking with me and makes me want to discuss with others. The abuse the Indigenous people of Canada have suffered at the hands of the priests and nuns - both sexual, physical and mental have such long reaching consequences. It sickens me that someone who is supposed to be a messenger of god could do such harm. I know p...
  • Karen Gallant
    Whilst the book was different to some extent from what I had imagined, it was an important and moving book for me to have read. I had expected more detail on the Truth and Reconciliation process and what lead up to/came out of that for the First Nations as a holistic community but was this really was was a very personal story of the relationship between a boy and his father and how their cultural background and the residential schools history sha...
  • Kath Curran
    Like Wab Kinew’s father, my mother died of pancreatic cancer. Both of our parents were warriors, meeting life head-on, leaving behind a trail of tragedies – and reasons for love. Like Kinew, I often fought against accepting my mother for who she was; like Kinew, before my mother died, Mercy and Compassion came to walk beside me and guide me home, to a place where I could embrace my mother as a whole person. To where I could begin to see mysel...
  • Lynda Archer
    I don't read a lot of memoir, but I really liked this book and am glad I read it. It has been on the best seller lists in Canada for several months. I would probably give it 4.5 stars; there were a few sections that could have done with a bit more editing. This is the story of Kinew's personal journey, claiming his indigenous heritage and creating a close relationship with his father, Ndede, who was a residential school survivor, and not a very e...
  • Kate
    I'd never heard of Wab Kinew before he defended Joseph Boyden's novel "The Orenda" for Canada Reads (it later won). I didn't know much else beyond that, and that he hosts Canada Reads now, before I picked this up for book club. It was a fascinating read. It was also an easy and compelling read, which I think is a lot because it is written in much the way he speaks. You can hear him, and the rhythm in his words easily.Kinew tells his story growing...
  • Caroline Mcphail-Lambert
    Reading Wab Kinew's "The Reason You Walk," made me pause and wonder about my own father and the burdens he carried to his grave. Kinew, through his father, explored the significance of reconciliation and what it means. "Reconciliation is realized when two people come together and understand that what they share unites them and what is different about them needs to be respected." (Pg 211) This concept applies to families as well as communities and...
  • Alexis
    My only problem with this book was that I read it in spurts. I had a copy, had to return it to the library and then read it on ebook. It's a great book and it really teaches a reader about Anishnaabe ceremonies and tradition. I also learned a lot about reconciliation. Wab is a good writer and this book has important themes about residential schools and father and son relationships. I hope lots of people read this, because it's such an informative...
  • Debra Komar
    Thoughtful, heart-felt, intelligent and honest. I first learned of Wab Kinew (like most Canadians) when he championed "The Orenda" on CanadaReads. This book also deals with Aboriginal issues with sensitivity, some humor and a distinctly First Nations perspective. More personal than political, and all the better for it.
  • Alice
    Great read. I want to read as much as I can about residential schools and the effect on our society. I feel shame in our treatment of the Indigenous peoples. I hope there will be forgiveness. I also hope Canada makes it right. We have a lot to make up for. Mr. Kinew is doing a great job, thank you.
  • Denise
    Really enjoyed reading this moving true story of a father-son I was given keen insight to the lives of the First Nation's people....will likely re-read it again in the future.
  • Katie
    Kinew deftly weaves personal and political elements into an accessible view of what reconciliation looks like. A must read for all Canadians.