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).…

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.…

Land for Fatimah by Veena Gokhale

In Land for Fatimah, we follow Anjali, an Indian woman who as a young girl witnessed the levelling of a slum outside of Bombay, displacing the members of that poor colony. She’s carried that horrible event in her head since, and we now find her working for an international non-profit organization called HELP (Health, Education and Livelihood Skills Partnership) and has taken on a year-long assignment in Kamorga, a fictional East African country.…

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 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

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.…

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!” …

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!…

Finishing the Road by David Cozac

Canadian author David Cozac was born and raised in Toronto. He works for the United Nations. In the past, he worked for several human rights organizations, including PEN Canada and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression.

Finishing the Road (2017, Tightrope Books) is Mr Cozac’s debut novel and it certainly augurs well for any future books he may pen. Set in Guatemala in the closing years of its Civil War (1960-1999), it involves three principal characters: Marc, a young man from Toronto who is in the country to learn Spanish, Sixteen-year-old Magdalena and her younger brother Jacinto, Ixil people now living in Guatemala City whose father was taken away by the military, and whose mother died while they were hiding from government troops in the jungle, and Claire, a French journalist who has recently learned of her Guatemalan father and has traveled to the country to meet him for the first time.…

Daniel Paul, Mi’kmaw Elder by Jon Tattrie

-winning author Jon Tattrie, whose most recent book, Redemption Songs (2016, Potterfield Press) was about the history of Black Africans in North America, has turned his attention to one of the most prominent First Nations personages, Daniel N. Paul, Mi’kmaw Elder.
Mr Paul is himself an author of several books, in particular the popular We Were Not the Savages (2006, Fernwood Publishing) now in it’s third printing.…

The Mike Martin Interview

Sgt. Windflower Mystery series is a series of cozy mysteries set in the small Newfoundland town of Grand Bank where Sgt. Winston Windflower is the top cop in the RCMP detachment there. The latest instalment in the series, A Tangled Web (2017, Baico Publishing), has just been released.

It begins innocuously enough:

“Life doesn’t get much better than this,” said Winston Windflower.

Chief Lightning Bolt by Daniel N. Paul

Mi’kmaq Elder Daniel Paul is an outspoken champion for First Nations People. His first book, We Were Not the Savages, is now in its third edition.

Chief Lightning Bolt is Mr Paul’s first foray into fictional history and is an attempt to portray how the Mi’kmaq people lived, in particular their way of life and culture pre-contact with the Europeans.…

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

“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.…

The Rick Revelle Interview

was by sheer happenstance that I came across Rick Revelle and his two historical novels: I am Algonquin and Algonquin Springs (2013 and 2015, Dundurn Press). I was in Kingston (Ontario) visiting family when an article in that day’s edition of the Kingston Whig-Standard about a man who had written some “books about Indians” was brought to my attention. Intrigued, I read the article and was quite impressed at the meticulous research Mr Revelle had performed to in order to make his novels about early First Nations people as realistic as possible.…

Wake the Stone Man by Carol McDougall

Wake the Stone Man (2015, Roseway Publishing) is Nova Scotia author Carol McDougall’s latest novel and it is a very thought-provoking one. It won the 2013 Beacon Award for social justice literature, which is a prize for an unpublished novel. The issue of the mistreatment of Aboriginal children in residential schools set up by the Canadian government almost 100 years ago has been in the news for many years now as new facts come to light and the survivors are telling their stories.…