The Circle of Friends program at the Gaynor Family Regional Library in Selkirk hosted Manitoba's New Democratic Party leader Wab Kinew in the afternoon of May 25.
The coordinator of the Senior's Program at the Selkirk Gaynor Family Library, Susan Berry, was very happy with Kinew's presentation. Berry said that she left it open for him to speak on whatever he chose when she invited him, and he chose to discuss his book, The Reason You Walk.
Kinew then stayed to answer questions to a packed audience. The book centres on Kinew's experiences up to and including the passing of his father, which lead him to a greater understanding of the world, life, and his sense of self, as an individual.
"Growing up the way that I did and watching the journey that my family went on with reconciliation has given me a powerful example of the importance of integrity and being a good person and how even when you're experiencing challenging times in your own life, you still have to do good," Kinew said.
Berry said the presentation went wonderfully. "I liked his personal point of view (and) really knowlegable responses. I liked how everyone participated and how positive everyone was," she told The Selkirk Journal.
82-year-old Milt Pedwell agreed with Berry. He said he was impressed with Kinew's powerful presentation.
"Without getting into specifics, what we have now is not what our province needs. A guy like that is what we need," Pedwell said.
"If you read his book, not only was he a politician but he was also speaking from the spirit and from the experience that he had lived and he created a connection between the two of them. I would recommend that book to just about anyone in our province because he really tells a powerful story about his family and further to the rest of our province and how we connect to each other," said Larry Lattanzi, a fan of Kinew who said he came to the presentation because he enjoyed Kinew’s book.
"He's a great writer who really impresses me," Lattanzi said.
Originally from Onigaming First Nation, Kinew makes his home with his wife and three children in Winnipeg. He is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, musician, literary reviewer, and bestselling author, and was elected Leader of the Manitoba NDP on September 16 of last year, according to todaysndp.ca.
The Circle of Friends group provided snacks and drinks for attendees. They host a speaker every Friday afternoon. For more information, visit gfrl.org.