This Place: 150 Years Retold
Booklist Reviews 2019 March #2
This collection of 10 stories retells Canada's history since Confederacy in 1867 through the lens of its Indigenous peoples. Each story focuses on a significant Indigenous historical figure or event, illuminating pivotal moments with a focus on Indigenous rights and sovereignty. Eleven Indigenous authors and eight illustrators from various cultures make for a wide range of storytelling and illustrative styles, although author introductions and timelines for each piece establish some continuity. The fact-based stories relay important historical figures and pivotal moments for Indigenous rights in an accessible way, but the more fantastical stories are where this collection really shines. "Red Clouds," a fictionalized account of a woman murdered during a great famine, conveys a disturbingly eerie and convincing alternate explanation of events, while "Rosie" offers a surreal, dreamlike landscape in which Inuit shamanism and European colonialism collide, illuminating the vast chasm between the two cultures. Although somewhat uneven, this collection provides invaluable opportunity to hear voices that are featured all too rarely in literature and is a worthwhile addition to collections. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2019 #5
This comics anthology celebrates Indigenous peoples and stories of Canada past, present, and future. In a foreword, writer Alicia Elliott asserts that Indigenous people have lived in a "post-apocalyptic world" ever since "the moment colonialism started to creep across these lands." Resistance, resilience, and the stories of heroic leaders and movements are portrayed in ten chapters, presented in chronological order. "Annie of Red River" by Katherena Vermette, with illustrations by Scott B. Henderson, takes place in 1869; "Warrior Nation" by Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, with illustrations by Andrew Lodwick, takes readers through to the twenty-first century. A variety of illustrative and narrative styles spotlights Indigenous experiences and perspectives on raids, protests, the horrors of the child welfare system, and more. Every chapter employs the same introductory framework, which includes an author's note and a timeline putting the events of the story into broader context; this continuity pulls the tales together despite their stylistic differences. The comics formatting and art are mostly functional, but there are moments of innovative splendor, as seen in "Rosie" (written by Rachel and Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley and illustrated by GMB Chomichuk), where icy blues and greens accentuate the Arctic setting. Back matter includes extensive citations and biographies of the contributors. Ambitious in scope and strong in execution, this collection succeeds in prompting readers to remember (or learn) Indigenous history and consider: "how are you a hero already? And what will your story be?" elisa gall September/October p.103 Copyright 2019 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
PW Reviews 2019 April #4
Ten tales offer an enlightening perspective of Canadian history from the point of view of First Nations people. Preceded with timelines to place them in historical context, each explores survival strategies adopted by indigenous people after the arrival of Europeans in North America. "We have survived the apocalypse," Alicia Elliot writes in the foreword. "Annie of Red River" by Katherena Vermette and Scott B. Henderson, set in 1850, features a prominent Native woman who takes physical action against a journalist who insulted Métis women. "Red Clouds" and "Peggy," illustrated in earthy tones by Natasha Donovan, are especially vivid in their depictions of peril —first in the form of windigo (a supernatural being in traditional First Nations folklore) and then in WWI. Both recount historical events with sensitivity to shamanistic beliefs. As the stories move further into the 20th century, and First Nations people grapple with their children being forced into foster care and their land being appropriated for industry, the art becomes grounded in a more pedestrian style, shifting from the mystical visions of earlier pieces. The final story, "Kitaskînaw 2350,"by Chelsea Vowell, imagines a future Canada and strikes a heavily didactic note, pulling down the collection. Still, the anthology's theme and authentically told stories make it a stand-out. (May)Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.