Inquiries: Poems by Michelle Porter

Michelle Porter is a Red River Métis poet, journalist, and editor. She holds degrees in journalism, folklore, and geography (Ph.D.). She currently lives in St. John’s Newfoundland. Inquiries is the debut collection of her poems.

I’m assuming that the book’s title is tied to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The poems within Inquiries are all tied together taking a hard look at the hardscrabble life of a Métis woman and her children eking out an existence near the Red River (and sometimes in NL), moving when the rent cannot be paid, leaving memories and items behind (a dollhouse that wouldn’t fit in the station wagon, gym sneakers left in a school locker).… Continue reading

Blue Bear Woman by Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau

Originally published in French as Ourse Bleu in 2007, Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau’s book has the distinction of being the first novel published in Quebec by an Indigenous woman. Now, English readers have Blue Bear Woman, a translation by Susan Ouriou and Christelle Morelli and published by Inanna Publications.* Blue Bear Woman is a powerful little novel of a mixed blood Cree/Métis woman (Victoria is her given name) searching for the memories of her past growing up in the James Bay area of Quebec.… Continue reading

Following the River: Traces of Red River Women by Lorri Neilsen Glenn

Towards the end of Lorri Neilsen Glenn’s enthralling memoir-like journey of discovery Following the River: Traces of Red River Women (2017, Wolsak & Wynn), she states:

“When we consider countless horrors in the world, innumerable disasters and catastrophes, a ship consumed by fire on a late summer night is but only one. Unremarkable, yet its dark stroke colours lives for generations.”

The ship in question was the SS Premier, a ship that plied the waters of Lake Winnipeg, carrying people and cargo south to north, north to south.… Continue reading

The Sweet Bloods of Eeyou Istchee by Ruth DyckFehderau

According to the Diabetes Canada website, there are 11 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes. Every three minutes, another Canadian is diagnosed. For the James Bay Cree living in the territory of Eeyou Istchee in Northern Quebec, “fully one-third of the adults have been diagnosed with type 2 or gestational diabetes and more remain undiagnosed.”

The Sweet Bloods of Eeyou Istchee was produced by creehealth.org in order to educate and inform the Cree and other Indigenous peoples of the dangers of eating too much of the wrong foods

and not getting enough exercise.… Continue reading

Tappan Adney and the Heritage of the St. John River Valley by Keith Helmuth

Woodstock, New Brunswick’s Chapel Street Editions must be one of this province’s best-kept publishing secrets. I found out about them quite by accident when another author mentioned one of their books they recently read (the novel Taapoategl & Pallet, which I plan to read soon).

Edwin Tappan Adney is a name well-known to New Brunswickers, particularly in and around the town of Woodstock, which borders on Maine in the central-west area of the province.… Continue reading

Warrior Lawyers by Silver Donald Cameron

Silver Donald Cameron is one of Canada’s most versatile and experienced professional authors and is the host and executive producer of TheGreenInterview.com, a subscription-based website with interviews (100 and counting!) of people from all parts of the globe and with every type of background imaginable. Mr. Cameron believes that “this is the most important work I’ve ever done — and this is my 18th book!”  Out of those interviews came Warrior Lawyers, which includes 15 interviews with lawyers helping environmentalist groups and individuals navigate the law in order to help save the earth.… Continue reading

The Last Beothuk by Gary Collins

to The Last Beothuk (2017, Flanker Press), Mr Collins’ last book was Desperation: The Queen of Swansea (2016, Flanker Press), which won a “The Very Best!” Book Award in the Historical Fiction category for that year. At the time, I posited that Mr Collins was at the top of his storytelling game. One could only guess what his next subject might be! Well, we didn’t have to wait long, for we have the finished product from Flanker Press on the shelves now.… Continue reading