Tag Archives: Gaspe

No Thanks, I Want to Walk by Emily Taylor Smith

I enjoyed Emily Taylor Smith’s travel memoir, Around The Province In 88 Days, enough to attend the launch event of her sequel, No Thanks, I Want to Walk: Two Months on Foot Around New Brunswick and the Gaspé. Somewhat ironically, no one had to travel to take part. It was a virtual event, like most readings over the past couple of years. Yet even through computer screens, a checkerboard of smiling faces couldn’t contain collective excitement. Along with shared pride and admiration. Pride and admiration in author Emily Taylor Smith and her accomplishments, having now walked thousands of kilometres for the sheer joy of it. Not to mention the friendships she makes. And her latest adventure, walking the perimeter of New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula, is another epic journey for the record books.

The publisher’s blurb encapsulates the author’s undertaking:

“After completing a 3,000-kilometre hike of coastal Nova Scotia and making a number of dramatic changes in her life, Emily Taylor Smith is compelled to undertake another Maritime journey on foot, this time following the coastline of New Brunswick and the Gaspé all the way to Quebec City.

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“She plans a solitary trip, searching for life lessons along the way and carrying everything she needs with her on her back. Emily severely underestimates the Fundy Footpath, struggles to communicate in French, nearly throws in the towel at the tip of Kouchibouguac Park, and survives a sleepless night in a collapsed tent on the windy Gaspé shore.

“What she doesn’t count on is the support which appears daily in the form of roadside messages, random gifts of ice cream, generous postmistresses and flag collectors, and help that comes from within. The challenging regimen of 45 kilometres a day for two months is transcended by a growing spiritual bond with the landscape that keeps her moving forward.”

What I enjoyed most about Smith’s latest adventure is that a depth of personal growth emanates from the page. Not only is it effectively articulated and shared, but is evident in the writing itself. I applaud the author for committing to the craft as much as her ambitious travel endeavour and succeeding at both.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Taylor Smith grew up in Salisbury, New Brunswick. Her love of coastal hiking led her to walk the coastline of New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula, as well as the perimeters of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

  • Title: No Thanks, I Want to Walk
  • Author: Emily Taylor Smith
  • Publisher: Pottersfield Press, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781989725337
  • Pages: 286 pp

This article has been Digiproved © 2021 James Fisher
Acknowledgements: Bill Arnott
Some Rights Reserved  

Nta’tugwaqanminen (Our Story) by the Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’qmawei Mawiomi

Subtitled “Evolution of the Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’gmaq” (2016, Fernwood Publishing) this book is the product of years of research commissioned by the organization that represents the three communities of the Mi’gmaq that inhabit the northern part of the Gaspé Peninsula. It also involves the work of the community’s Elders (both oral and written stories), so it is a history written by Aboriginal peoples from an aboriginal perspective. It is also valuable for non-Aboriginals as well, for we learn of their history from their perspective, and come to see and understand their worldview and vision of life and their environment both before and after contact with Europeans. As stated by the authors in the introduction:

The purpose of this book is…to invite our non-Mi’gmaq neighbours into our world. We think that knowing leads to understanding.

Authoritative and Informative

Fernwood Publishing has a reputation for publishing books that “inform, enlighten and challenge”. Our Story, like another Fernwood title I recently reviewed (Viola Desmond’s Canada), certainly lives up to that reputation. Here is an authoritative, landmark publication that will no doubt be indispensable for Aboriginal research as well as those in the educational community. As for it being enlightening, I know that I certainly learned much from it, for example, the “rule of giving”: whatever the number of transactions, the spirit of the gift must come back, in whatever form, to its point of origin and come full circle. The Mi’gmaq were to come to understand that the rule of giving was not a fundamental aspect of the European way of life.

Other chapters cover Mi’gmaq territory in Prehistoric times, Mi’gmaq place names, their treaty relationships with the British Crown, and the Gespe’gewa’gi Mi’gmaq in contemporary times. There are also notes, an extensive bibliography as well as an index at the end of the book.

Conclusion

As someone who loves to read and learn about history, and being unfamiliar with the history of the Mi’gmaq in Eastern Canada, I was drawn into the book quite early and certainly found it informative and eye-opening as to the plight (past and present) of a people I live and work among in the Miramichi area. Highly recommended for educators, and for students wishing to research this important area of Canadian-Aboriginal history.


This article has been Digiproved © 2016-2018 James FisherSome Rights Reserved