The Voyageurs, Forefathers of the Métis Nation

SKU: 9781926795904

Norman Fleury, Zoey Roy
Grade Levels:
Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten
Book Type:
Gabriel Dumont Institute Press
Copyright Data:

Sale price$20.00


The Voyageurs: Forefathers of the Métis Nation is written by Zoey Roy, a Dene, Cree and Métis poet from Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. This book is translated by Michif Elder Norman Fleury, originally, from St. Lazare, Manitoba, and a gifted Michif storyteller. He speaks Michif, Cree, Anishinaabemowin, Dakota, French, and English. The Voyageurs is illustrated by Jerry Thistle, of Cree/Métis heritage. The Voyageurs tells an old story—integral to both the birth of the Métis Nation and to the development of Canada—in a new and engaging format. It is a spoken-word poem about the men who risked their lives to be fur traders in Canada. Zoey Roy has eloquently transformed the history of the voyageurs into a spoken-word performance poem which she has shared live at numerous events over the last several years. In this innovative resource, Zoey masterfully informs the reader and listener of the voyageurs’ history, background, and lifeways in a format popular with today’s youth. Zoey Roy offers insights on why these men chose this dangerous life. She also touches on the impact it had on some of them, who left their families behind and then often made new families. At the end of the book, there is a short history reading, along with a list of recommended resources. The accompanying DVD contains videos of Roy reading the poem, both with and without the illustrations. Métis storyteller Norman Fleury translated the poem’s lyrics into the Michif language. Additionally, in the last images on the DVD, he reads the poem in Michif. Métis artist Jerry Thistle has illustrated the book with watercolour images that effectively evoke the harsh landscapes the Voyageurs travelled through. This book uses some complex vocabulary, so younger students will require teacher support. To fully appreciate Zoey’s masterful delivery, a DVD to accompany this book was essential. Combined with Jerry Thistle’s evocative illustrations and Norman Fleury’s Michif narration, this resource becomes a teaching tool, a work of art, and the impetus for further research all in one.

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