Discussion Questions for The Marrow Thieves

  1. How has climate change and severe weather impacted the landscape Frenchie navigates? How has it affected the main characters’ daily lives? What impact has it had on the non- indigenous population?
  2. How has climate change impacted you? Do you think the future Dimaline envisions is possible? Why or why not?
  3. Around the world, youth have been leading the charge on climate action. In indigenous communities, Elders hold an honored place. Describe how Frenchie’s family band is structured so that people of all ages are able to bring their strengths to the group. How do you see others in our community engaging or not engaging with this movement?
  4. Discuss the role of story-telling in the novel. How do stories help define the concept of home?
  5. Reflect on two characters’ coming-to stories. What events have shaped their lives? Where do they find hope?
  6. When Rose teaches Frenchie the word ‘nishin,’ good, he ‘turn[s] the word over in [his] throat like a stone; a prayer [he] couldn’t add breath to, a world [he] wasn’t willing to release’ (page 39). What role does language play in culture? How does the loss of language affect a culture and its people? Examine why Frenchie and the others are so hungry for bits of ‘the language’.
  7. Miig states that a ‘man without dreams is just a meaty machine with a broken gauge’ (page 88). Why do you think dreams are so important? What would it be like to live without dreams?
  8. Cherie Dimaline stated, “I wanted people to come away saying, ‘I would never let that happen,’ or, more correctly, ‘I would never let that happen again.’” Compare and contrast this novel to real historical events (e.g. residential schools). How do these events relate to each other as well as to the book?
  9. Cherie Dimaline speaks to the need for humor and joy in stories about survival. Where do you see joy and laughter in Frenchie’s story? What role does it play?