Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Fair Country

Some recent Native/Metis Canadian books that were picked for the St. Albert Gazette Good Reading column in honour of National Aboriginal Day.

One Story, One Song  by Richard Wagamese
For National Aboriginal Day, a new collection of warm, wise and inspiring true stories in this a follow-up to Wagamese’s bestselling memoir, One Native Life. This time Wagamese invites us with him on his travels as he tells stories that show the four principles of native Ojibway tradition: humility, trust, introspection and wisdom.

Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont  by Joseph Boyden
You could meet Louis Riel in person - as portrayed by St. Albert actor Matt Chaney - at the Rendezvous 2011 "Meet the Street" event on June 12th. Local actors lead by Paul Punyi and Maureen Rooney took on the personas of local historical characters (plus people like Riel important to local history) in celebration of St. Albert's 150th anniversary. In this fascinating dual biography novelist Joseph Boyden (Three Day Road) takes on Riel and his fellow Métis leader Gabriel Dumont.

Motorcycles and Sweetgrass by Drew Hayden Taylor
The noted Native Canadian writer has written and edited a number of books, but here it puts it all together in his first novel for adults. This engaging, funny story is set in the sleepy Anishnawbe (Ojibwa) community of Otter Laek, Ontario, where Chief Maggie Second is trying to juggle her busy life. Then one day a handsome stranger pulls up on a 1953 Indian Chief motorcycle and life is turned upside down.

A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada by John Ralston Saul
From one of Canada’s great thinkers, a brilliant and persuasively argued book that proposes that Canada is a Métis nation, shaped by aboriginal ideas of egalitarianism, a balance between individuals and groups, and a reflex for negotiation over violence.