Bearskin Diary: A Novel is the 2017-2018 title selected as the winner for First Nation Communities READ. Carol Daniels is the author and the publisher is Nightwood Editions. Raw and honest, Bearskin Diary gives voice to a generation of First Nations women who have always been silenced, at a time when movements like Idle No More call for a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
From one of Canada's most recognized poets, Witness, I Am delves into the critical issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women through the retelling of an atayohkewin, a Cree Sacred Story; builds on the autobiographical arc of Gregory Scofield's eight collections of poetry; and reimagines Metis identity and belonging as contemporary sound poetry, weaving the personal and universal into a tapestry of sharp poetic luminosity. Longlisted title on the 2017 First Nation Communities Read program.
The Red Files is inspired by family and archival sources, Lisa Bird-Wilson assembles scraps of a history torn apart by colonial violence. The poetry collection takes its name from the federal government's complex organizational structure of residential schools archives, which are divided into black files and red files. In vignettes clear as glass beads, her poems offer affection to generations of children whose presence within the historic record is ghostlike, anonymous and ephemeral.
Shannon Webb-Campbell's Still No Word seeks the appearance of the self in others and the recognition of others within the self. Patient, searching, questioning, and at times heartbreaking - these poems reveal the deep past within the present tense and the interrelations that make our lives somehow both whole and unfinished. And though Webb-Campbell is political at times, this is not politics for the sake of politics: here, it's a matter of the human heart. Ranging from reflective to angry, from sensual to humourous, her poetry inhabits that mercurial space between the public and the priv
Totem Poles and Railroads 2017 FNCR succinctly defines the 500-year-old relationship between Indigenous nations and the corporation of Canada. In this, her fifth poetry collection, Janet Rogers expands on that definition with a playful, culturally powerful and, at times, experimental voice. She pays honour to her poetic characters - real and imagined, historical and present day - from Sacajawea to Nina Simone.
A Gentle Habit: a book of short stories by Metis author Cherie Dimaline includes six moving short stories. Inspiration for the collection comes from American poet Charles Bukowski who wrote “In between the punctuating agonies, life is such a gentle habit.” Following this theme of extraordinary ordinariness, A Gentle Habit is a collection of six new short stories focusing on the addictions of a diverse group of characters attempting normalcy in an unnatural world.
In her second collection of poetry, Passage, Gwen Benaway examines what it means to experience violence and speaks to the burden of survival. Traveling to Northern Ontario and across the Great Lakes, Passage is a poetic voyage through divorce, family violence, legacy of colonization, and the affirmation of a new sexuality and gender. Previously published as a man, Passage is the poet’s first collection written as a transwoman. Striking and raw in sparse lines, the collection showcases a vital Two Spirited identity that transects borders of race, gender, and experience.
Just Pretending is Bird-Wilson’s first short story collection, though she has previously published a book of nonfiction. This Métis author works for he Gabriel Dumont Institute in Saskatoon. In this short story collection the question of identity appears in all the 22 stories. Additional themes include belonging/not belonging, Aboriginal adoption, loss and abandonment, regret and insecurity. A deadbeat dad tries to reconnect with his daughter after 22 years away. A selfish poet has been scarred by an upbringing that leaves him emotionally distant from his children and spouse.