By Jacob Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
(ANNews) – Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity, A Memoir is a new memoir from the award-winning, Cree writer Darrel J. McLeod. He is from Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta. Before his retirement, McLeod was chief negotiator of land claims for the federal government and executive director of education and international affairs with the Assembly of First Nations.
Peyakow – the sequel to Mamaskatch: a Cree Coming of Age (which won the 2018 Governor General’s Award for non-fiction) – recounts the journey of steely perseverance and enduring love in the relentless pursuit of happiness and a meaningful life.
The book presents the Native experience in raw vignettes from the life of the author – the lowest lows and the highest highs. All the while, allowing the reader to experience the life of a Native person trying to come up in Canada.
Every single person in this book is written with incredible depth and the stories told paint a vivid picture of different parts of Canada from the educational institutions in BC, to the family-life of McLeod in Alberta.
Time and again McLeod is devastated by the defeat, self-destruction and even death of those closest to him and constantly fears that he too will be dragged down.
However, the story is ripe with perseverance and accomplishment as McLeod shows the world that he can overcome his traumatic past and do great things.
The memoir follows McLeod across Canada and the world as he recalls his time working as a school principal; his time as part of an Indigenous delegation to the UN in Geneva; an executive at the government of Canada; and author.
This item is reprinted with permission from the Alberta Native News. For the complete article, click HERE
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