John Brady McDonald is a Nehiyawak-Metis writer, artist, historian, musician, playwright, actor and activist born and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He is a member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and the Mistawasis Nehiyawak. John Brady McDonald has lived in Kistahpinanihk, an area that includes Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, for nearly all his life. He is a descendent of Metis leader Jim Brady. John Brady has worked to move carefully between these two Nations – to learn their stories, honour their Traditions and reclaim their Languages, all of which were nearly lost to him.
In this wide-ranging collection the author looks at everything from the city of Prince Albert to his experience of residential school, to northern firefighting, to his time in the United Kingdom, where he “discovered” and “claimed” the island for the First People of the Americas. These are essays filled with history, much careful observation and some hard-learned lessons about racism, about recovery, about the ongoing tragedies facing Indigenous peoples. With honesty, a poet’s turn of phrase and a bit of sly humour, John Brady pulls us deep into the life he has lived in Kistahpinanihk and asks us to consider what life could be like in a New North Territory.