This is the most comprehensive single volume of Mi'kmaq writing available. Included are essays on history, culture, spirituality as well as autobiography, traditional stories and poetry in this spirited and varied collection.
First published in 1997, the book is a valuable landmark of an ancient culture that speaks directly to those intrigued by Aboriginal history and culture. The writers in this volume express both pain and joy, outrage and celebration. There is wisdom here to be shared as the contributors document Mi'kmaq life both ancient and modern. Sacred ceremonies and beliefs are explored and personal histories revealed. Included also, however, are writers documenting some of the harshest realities of Nova Scotia history, including Cornwallis's scalping proclamation of 1749 and the travesties of the residential schools of the twentieth century.
Contributors include Don Julien, Lindsay Marshall, Murdena Marshall, Mary Louise Martin, Elsie Charles Basque, Shirley Kiju Kawi, Noel Knockwood, Helen Sylliboy, Marie Battiste, Theresa Meuse, Isabelle Knockwood, Katherine Sorbey, Daniel N. Paul, Harold Gloade and Rita Joe.
Rita Joe states in the introduction, "When it comes to Mi'kmaq history, there are many unanswered questions for all of us. Poets pose some of those questions. Mi'kmaq historians attempt to reveal truths that have long been hidden. Many writers in this volume tell us stories from their own lives to reveal experience, tradition, knowledge and spiritual understanding. Ancient stories handed down provide insight into a way of looking at the world that differs greatly from the messages we receive on TV, in the newspapers and from our political leaders."
About the Editors:
Rita Joe was born in Whycocomagh in 1932 and received the Order of Canada for her writing and contribution to Canadian culture. Before her death in 2007, she published several important books of poetry and inspired many younger Mi'kmaq authors.
Lesley Choyce is the publisher of Pottersfield Press, teaches English in Dalhousie University's Transition Year Program and is the author of a number of books.