Sci-Fi Reality – “The Marrow Thieves” by Cherie Dimaline

#ToolboxTuesday highlights a variety of intriguing resources for educators and beyond in support of our ongoing journey towards a more mindful, trauma-informed practice. Resources centre the dismantling of anti-oppression, and come in many different forms: novels, articles, teaching resources, and so on. If you have a resource to share, send us an email!


Trigger warning: readers may be triggered by the recount of Indian Residential Schools. To access a 24-hour National Crisis Line, call: 1-866-925-4419.

Set in a future where the plundering of natural resources has rendered Turtle Island apocalyptic, The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline weaves a stark reminder of the continued violent exploitation of Indigenous Peoples and of the land. Its genre is science fiction; yet the abuse and fight for survival endured by its characters are entirely believable. The theft of Indigenous lifeblood has happened before. When the world becomes desperate, there’s nothing to stop it from happening again.

Deep in its sorrow, triumphant in its joy, and hauntingly beautiful, this is an excellent story to work through with older students in high school and beyond. There are references to children’s concentration camps in Canada, also known as Residential Schools. There are also references to the strength and endurance of present-day Indigenous Peoples in Canada as they work hard to revitalize their culture, language, and communities post-colonialism. Though classified as a Young Adult novel, The Marrow Thieves is a must read for everyone across Turtle Island as we reconcile with the ongoing genocide of the First Peoples.

Title: The Marrow Thieves

Author: Cherie Dimaline

Audience Age: high school and older. Strong readers in grade 7/8 may access with guidance.

Format: Novel

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 231


If you’ve read this before, what did you learn from this book? Let us know in the comments!