Joseph Boyden at the Canoe Museum

There was excitement buzzing through the Museum on Tuesday as everyone eagerly awaited a Canadian celebrity. While guests munched on snacks and wine, snippets of conversation could be heard; “I just loved “Three Day Road!”, “I can’t believe he’s come to Peterborough, how exciting!” Joseph Boyden, an acclaimed novelist, has written award-winning novels that include “Three Day Road” and “Through Black Spruce.”

With a drum roll in the back of everyone’s head, Joseph Boyden was introduced to an eruption of applause. Coming to the Museum to talk about how to help rural and urban Aboriginal youth in Northern Ontario and elsewhere, he talked of his heart-wrenching personal stories.

A hush went over the crowd as Joseph gave a literary voice to the troubles that Aboriginal youth face. Joseph’s talk was broken into three separate “acts,” in which he revealed three difficult tales of growing up. He expanded on the idea of youth rediscovering their land and their ties to it, to ultimately make that healing connection again. Joseph warned us that the topics would be dark and depressing, but are issues that need to be discussed in order to begin reconciling the problems.

The talk concluded with a question and answer period, where Joseph publicly addressed any questions we had about his talk, his books, etc. A book signing followed, where there was a steady stream of people eagerly waiting to have their well-read copies autographed.

Fortunately, for those who were able to make it to Joseph’s talk, he leaked a little information about his upcoming book! However, “what happens in the Canoe Museum, stays in the Canoe Museum.” Stay tuned in the upcoming months to hear more about his book via his website at http://www.josephboyden.com.