Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997
Christ Church Cathedral414 Sparks St.

Living History

with Alicia Elliott and Terese Marie Mailhot
Hosted by CBC’s Alan Neal

Living History

with Alicia Elliott and Terese Marie Mailhot
Hosted by CBC’s Alan Neal
Christ Church Cathedral
414 Sparks St.
Alicia Elliott - Photo by Alex Jacobs-Blum
Terese Marie Mailhot - Photo by Isaiah Mailhot

Join us for an urgent conversation on the connections between the personal and the political, an illuminating portrait of colonial culture and an exploration of how coming to terms with our present might offer a pathway to a better future.


In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native peoples in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma, Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight and understanding to the ongoing legacy of colonialism. What are the links between depression, colonialism and loss of language—both figurative and literal? How does white privilege operate in different contexts? How do we navigate the painful contours of mental illness in loved ones without turning them into their sickness? How does colonialism operate on the level of literary criticism? A Mind Spread Out on the Ground is her attempt to answer these questions and more. In the process, she engages with such wide-ranging topics as race, parenthood, love, mental illness, poverty, sexual assault, gentrification, writing and representation.


Heart Berries , a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature, is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in British Columbia. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Bipolar II, Terese Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma. The triumphant result is a memorial for Mailhot’s mother, a social worker and activist who had a thing for prisoners; a story of reconciliation with her father—an abusive drunk and a brilliant artist—who was murdered under mysterious circumstances; and an elegy on how difficult it is to love someone while dragging the long shadow of shame. As she writes, she discovers her own true voice, seizes control of her story and, in so doing, reestablishes her connection to her family, to her people and to her place in the world.


Books available for purchase at every event: Proceeds support our free children’s literacy programs. 

See Also

Included in Optional Monday May 06 Evening Pass: Three events

5:30pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
7:00pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
8:30pm • Christ Church Cathedral • 414 Sparks St.
Join Wait List

Living History

Notify me if new tickets come available for this event

Number of tickets:

Living History

Please RSVP to help us gauge interest in our programming and be reminded when this event premiers