First Voices, First Texts

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First Voices, First Texts aims to re-connect contemporary readers with some of the most important Aboriginal literature of the past, much of which has been unavailable for decades. This series reveals the richness of these works by providing newly re-edited texts that are presented with particular sensitivity toward Indigenous ethics, traditions, and contemporary realities. The editors strive to indigenize the editing process by involving communities, by respecting traditional protocols, and by providing critical introductions that give readers new insights into the cultural contexts of these unjustly neglected classics.

Series Editor: Warren Cariou, Metis.


Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl
Format: Paperback

Anahareo (1906-1985) was a Mohawk writer, environmentalist, and activist. She was also the wife of Grey Owl, aka Archie Belaney, the internationally celebrated writer and speaker who claimed to be of Scottish and Apache descent, but whose true ancestry as a white Englishman only became known after his death.

Devil in Deerskins is Anahareo’s autobiography up to and including her marriage to Grey Owl. In vivid prose she captures their extensive travels through the bush and their work towards environmental and wildlife protection. Here we see the daily life of an extraordinary Mohawk woman whose independence, intellect and moral conviction had direct influence on Grey Owl’s conversion from trapper to conservationist. Though first published in 1972, Devil in Deerskins’s observations on indigeneity, culture, and land speak directly to contemporary audiences.

Series Information
Devil in Deerskins is the first book in the First Voices, First Texts series. This new edition includes forewords by Anahareo’s daughters, Katherine Swartile and Anne Gaskell, an afterword by Sophie McCall, and reintroduces readers to a very important but largely forgotten text by one of Canada’s most talented Aboriginal writers.

Additional Information
240 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$27.95

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From the Tundra to the Trenches
Editors:
Thibault Martin
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Inuit;

“My name is Weetaltuk; Eddy Weetaltuk. My Eskimo tag name is E9-422.” So begins From the "Tundra to the Trenches." Weetaltuk means “innocent eyes” in Inuktitut, but to the Canadian government, he was known as E9-422: E for Eskimo, 9 for his community, 422 to identify Eddy.

In 1951, Eddy decided to leave James Bay. Because Inuit weren’t allowed to leave the North, he changed his name and used this new identity to enlist in the Canadian Forces: Edward Weetaltuk, E9-422, became Eddy Vital, SC-17515, and headed off to fight in the Korean War. In 1967, after fifteen years in the Canadian Forces, Eddy returned home. He worked with Inuit youth struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, and, in 1974, started writing his life’s story. This compelling memoir traces an Inuk’s experiences of world travel and military service. Looking back on his life, Weetaltuk wanted to show young Inuit that they can do and be what they choose. 

Reviews
“Endlessly interesting; an account of a traditional way of life now lost, a gripping first-hand account of a front-line soldier during the war, and an honest account of a young man’s adventures and misadventures. It is to all our benefit that it has, at last, found its way into print." — Michael Melgaard, The National Post

“Tender, honest, and often raw, Weetaltuk’s storytelling is masterful, engrossing, and deeply human. He has imbued his writing with a philosophical nuance that is characteristically Inuit: very subtle, yet profound." — Siku Allooloo, The Malahat Review

“Recounts the adventures of Inuk veteran Eddy Weetaltuk, from his early life in the North to his escape to the south under an assumed identity, to his enlistment in the Canadian Forces, which took him across the Canadian West, to Japan and Germany, and into battle in Korea. Adopting the name Eddy Vital was necessary in 1951 because the federal government restricted the movement of Inuit people. Through his alias, Weetaltuk was able to see the world; in the army, he experienced equality and respect – all the while never forgetting his true identity as an Inuk. The publication history of From the Tundra to the Trenches is itself a four-decades-long saga of many twists and turns. That it now finds English publication (after first appearing in French and German) owes to the author’s conviction that his life story be read as a work of literature with the makings of a bestseller. Eddy Weetaltuk was right.”— Jade Colbert, The Globe and Mail

“For those interested in Inuit culture it offers the rare and valuable perspective of an Inuk looking out from his culture at the world rather than the world looking in. “ — P. T. Sherrill, CHOICE

Series Information
From the Tundra to the Trenches is the fourth book in the First Voices, First Texts series, which publishes lost or underappreciated texts by Indigenous writers. This new English edition of Eddy Weetaltuk’s memoir includes a foreword and appendix by Thibault Martin and an introduction by Isabelle St-Amand.

Additional Information
280 pages | 5.50" x 8.50" | 25 colour illustrations, 3 b&w photographs, bibliography

 

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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Indians Don't Cry: Gaawiin Mawisiiwag Anishinaabeg
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Anishinaabeg;

George Kenny is an Anishinaabe poet and playwright who learned traditional ways from his parents before being sent to residential school in 1958. When Kenny published his first book, 1977’s Indians Don’t Cry, he joined the ranks of Indigenous writers such as Maria Campbell, Basil Johnston, and Rita Joe whose work melded art and political action. Hailed as a landmark in the history of Indigenous literature in Canada, this new edition is expected to inspire a new generation of Anishinaabe writers with poems and stories that depict the challenges of Indigenous people confronting and finding ways to live within urban settler society.

Series Information
Indians Don’t Cry: Gaawin Mawisiiwag Anishinaabeg is the second book in the First Voices, First Texts series, which publishes lost or underappreciated texts by Indigenous artists. This new bilingual edition includes a translation of Kenny’s poems and stories into Anishinaabemowin by Patricia M. Ningewance and an afterword by literary scholar Renate Eigenbrod.

Although most of the books in this series are non-fiction, this one is listed as fiction.

Additional Information
190 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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Life Among the Qallunaat
Format: Paperback

Life Among the Qallunaat is the story of Mini Aodla Freeman’s experiences growing up in the Inuit communities of James Bay and her journey in the 1950s from her home to the strange land and stranger customs of the Qallunaat, those living south of the Arctic. Her extraordinary story, sometimes humourous and sometimes heartbreaking, illustrates an Inuit woman’s movement between worlds and ways of understanding. It also provides a clear-eyed record of the changes that swept through Inuit communities in the 1940s and 1950s.

Mini Aodla Freeman was born in 1936 on Cape Hope Island in James Bay. At the age of sixteen, she began nurse's training at Ste. Therese School in Fort George, Quebec, and in 1957 she moved to Ottawa to work as a translator for the then Department of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources. Her memoir, Life Among the Qallunaat, was published in 1978 and has been translated into French, German, and Greenlandic.

Series Information
Life Among the Qallunaat is the third book in the First Voices, First Texts series, which publishes lost or underappreciated texts by Indigenous writers. This reissue of Mini Aodla Freeman’s path-breaking work includes new material, an interview with the author, and an afterword by Keavy Martin and Julie Rak, with Norma Dunning.

Additional Information
304 pages | 5.50" x 8.50"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$24.95

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