An Evening with Tiya Miles: Author of All That She Carried - McCord Stewart Museum


Wednesday, April 3, 2024 | 6 P.M.

Tiya Miles 

An Evening with Tiya Miles: Author of All That She Carried

Free activity, sold out | Location: BANQ

In this very special one-off event, in partnership with McGill University and CBC Ideas, renowned historian Dr. Tiya Miles will give a talk in celebration of her 2022 Cundill History Prize winning book All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake, which traces the life of a single rough cotton bag handed down through three generations of Black women to craft an extraordinary testament to people who are left out of the archives. Dr. Miles unearths these women’s faint presence in archival records to follow the paths of their lives—and the lives of so many women like them—creating a singular and revelatory history of the experience of slavery and the uncertain freedom afterward, which serves as a visionary illustration of how to reconstruct and recount their stories today.

Dr. Miles will be introduced by Cynthia Cooper, Head of Collections and Research Curator of Dress, Fashion and Textiles at the Museum, who will explore how Dr. Miles’ work breaks ground for research that centres textiles within decolonizing narratives and inspires future directions for material culture studies.

In the second half of the evening, Nahlah Ayed, host of CBC’s Ideas, will carry out an interview with Dr. Miles for later broadcast on the programme, drawing on Dr. Miles’ earlier talk and exploring her work since winning the 2022 Cundill History Prize.


  • Event sold out
    Event organizers will have access to the reservations log.
  • Discussion in English, simultaneous translation in French will be available.
  • Duration: 90 minutes 
  • Free activity, presented on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, at 6 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
    Please arrive 15 minutes ahead to secure your seat.
  • Location: Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec (BANQ)
    475 boul. de Maisonneuve East, Montreal

About Tiya Miles

Dr. Tiya Miles is the author of three multiple prize-winning works in the history of early American race relations: Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom; The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story; and most recently, The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits.

She has also written historical fiction: The Cherokee Rose: A Novel of Gardens and Ghosts (a Lambda Literary Award Finalist), shared her travels to “haunted” historic sites of slavery in a published lecture series, and written various articles and op-eds (in The New York Times,, the Huffington Post) on women’s history, history and memory, black public culture, and black and indigenous interrelated experience.

About Nahlah Ayed

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Nahlah Ayed is an award-winning veteran of foreign reporting: first, in the Middle East where she spent nearly a decade covering the region’s many conflicts. And later, while based in London, she covered many of the major stories of our time: Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Europe’s refugee crisis, the Brexit vote and its fallout.

Nahlah Ayed launches a new season as host of IDEAS on September 2019 (CBC). A former parliamentary reporter for The Canadian Press, Nahlah is a graduate of Carleton University’s Master of Journalism program. She also holds a Master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies (Philosophy, English and Science) and a Bachelor of Science in genetics from the University of Manitoba.

Among her many awards and distinctions are: a Prix Italia she won in 2011, for a team-produced multi-media project, Exile Without End, about a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut. In 2012, her book, A Thousand Farewells, was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award. In 2016, Nahlah Ayed and her team won “Story of the Year” at the UK Foreign Press Association Awards for their documentary on child labour in India. In 2017, she won a photojournalism award from the Canadian Association of Journalists for her story, The Rescuers.

She also holds three honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba (2008), Concordia University (2016) and the University of Alberta (2018).

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