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HOLD HIGH YOUR HEADS: HISTORY OF THE METIS NATION IN WESTERN CANADA

A. H. de Trémaudan.

Winnipeg, Pemmican Publications, c1982.
210pp, paper, $12.95.
ISBN 0-919143-24-5.


Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by David Chadwick.

Volume 12 Number 5
1984 September


Many books have been published about the Métis in the last few years. Some have uncovered new details about the struggles of a hundred years ago, resulting in reassessments of Riel and his peers. Few, if any of these books can claim to represent the views of the Métis themselves as well as this book does.

First published in 1936, the book is the result of a Métis historical committee that began meeting in 1909. At that time, there were many people including Rielís brother Joseph, still alive who could and did tell their version of the events of 1869-70 and 1885.

Tremaudan died before the book was complete, and the appendix, the most controversial portion was finished by the committee that had commissioned the book. The result is a book that is partisan but readable. Regrettably no footnotes were used in making the book, a point that made its academic use extremely limited. The book was meant for young Métis who did not know their proud history, and in fact, "When the Committee decided on a simple narration, it intended later to publish a complete work with all the supporting proofs."

Regrettably that did not happen. The book did arouse a lot of discussion when it first came out partially due to errors and lack of documentation, but it succeeded in accurately representing the views of those directly involved in the events it describes. For that reason alone, it should be considered for most high school libraries. The English translation was long overdue. Pemmican Press should be commended for releasing the book now.


David Chadwick, Norway House H. S., Norway House, MB.
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