This International Women’s Day, we want to highlight the work of some of the incredible women and two-spirit writers from our list. These books explore the women’s movement in the twentieth century, share insights from the life of a dramatherapist at the forefront of residential school writing, examine the oeuvres of influential feminist writers and artists, and more.
For the rest of March, enjoy 30% off ten titles by and about women and two-spirit people through our website with the code IWD23.
Exactly What I Said: Translating Words and Worlds
reflects on the collaboration between Innu elder and activist Tshaukuesh Elizabeth Penashue and retired Memorial University professor Elizabeth Yeoman that produced the celebrated Nitinikiau Innusi: I Keep the Land Alive
. Recently longlisted for the 2022 BMO
Winterset Award, Exactly What I Said
is about naming, mapping, and storytelling; about photographs, collaborative authorship, and voice; about walking together on the land and what can be learned along the way. Combining theory with personal narrative, Yeoman weaves together ideas, memories, and experiences––of home and place, of stories and songs, of looking and listening––to interrogate the challenges and ethics of translation.
Winner of the Association for Manitoba Archives’ 2022 Manitoba Day Award, Returning to Ceremony: Spirituality in Manitoba Métis Communities
continues Chantal Fiola’s ground-breaking examination of Métis spirituality, debunking stereotypes such as “all Métis people are Catholic,” and “Métis people do not go to ceremonies.” Fiola finds that, among the Métis, spirituality exists on a continuum of Indigenous and Christian traditions, and that Métis spirituality includes ceremonies. For some Métis people, it is a historical continuation of the relationships their ancestral communities have had with ceremonies since time immemorial, and for others, it is a homecoming—a return to ceremony after some time away.
Dadibaajim narratives are of and from the land, born from experience and observation. Invoking this critical Anishinaabe methodology for teaching and learning, Helen Olsen Agger documents and reclaims the history, identity, and inherent entitlement of the Namegosibii Anishinaabeg to the care, use, and occupation of their Trout Lake homelands. A profound decolonial work, Dadibaajim: Returning Home Through Narrative
won four awards in 2022, including the prestigious Canadian Historical Association’s Indigenous History Book Prize and Ontario CLIO
Through oral history, environmental observation, and archival materials, Dammed: The Politics of Loss and Survival in Anishinaabe Territory
explores Canada’s hydroelectric boom in the Lake of the Woods area, making clear that hydroelectric generating stations were designed to serve settler populations. Governments and developers excluded the Anishinaabeg from planning and operations and failed to consider how power production might influence the health and economy of their communities. By so doing, Canada and Ontario thwarted a future that aligned with the terms of treaty, a future in which both settlers and the Anishinaabeg might thrive in shared territories. This powerful and urgent analysis won the Canadian Historical Association’s 2021 Best Scholarly Book in Canadian History Award, along with a host of other prizes, and earned author Brittany Luby a Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Scholarly Research.
Compelled to Act: Histories of Women’s Activism in Western Canada
showcases fresh historical perspectives on the diversity of women’s contributions to social and political change in prairie Canada in the twentieth century, including but looking beyond the era of suffrage activism. In our current time of revitalized activism against racism, colonialism, violence, and misogyny, this volume edited by Sarah Carter and Nanci Langford reminds us of the myriad ways women have challenged and confronted injustices and inequalities.
This critical collaboration by four Indigenous writers and scholars delivers a unique and comprehensive collection of the works of Ktunaxa-Secwepemc writer and educator Vera Manuel, daughter of prominent Indigenous leaders Marceline Paul and George Manuel. A vibrant force in the burgeoning Indigenous theatre scene, Vera accomplished ground-breaking work as a dramatherapist and healer. Long before mainstream Canada understood and discussed the impact and devastating legacy of Canada’s Indian residential schools, Vera Manuel wrote about it as part of her personal and community healing. Honouring the Strength of Indian Women: Plays, Stories, Poems
is a work of powerful resistance, healing, and resilience.
In the first part of the twentieth century few women in western Canada had careers as artists—Pauline Boutal had three: 23 years as a fashion illustrator for the Eaton’s catalogue, 27 years as the Artistic Director at the Cercle Molière Theatre, and 70 years as a visual artist. Born in Brittany in 1894, Boutal painted in a traditional style and trained at the Winnipeg School of Art, the Cape Cod School of Art, and at l’Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris, France. She left an important legacy of portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and illustrations as well as theatre sets and costume designs. In the multiple-award-winning Pauline Boutal: An Artist’s Destiny, 1894–1992
, author Louise Duguay creates a work that honours the best of biography and autobiography.
For western Canadian artist Mary Riter Hamilton (1868–1954), art was her life’s passion. Her tale is one of tragedy and adventure, from homestead beginnings, to genteel drawing rooms in Winnipeg, Victoria, and Vancouver, to Berlin and Parisian art schools, to Vimy and Ypres, and finally to illness and poverty in old age. Award-winning No Man’s Land: The Life and Art of Mary Riter Hamilton
is the first biographical study of Hamilton, whose work can be found in galleries and art museums throughout Canada. Authors Kathryn A. Young and Sarah M. McKinnon present meticulous, extensive, fascinating research to commemorate to a major female artist.
Perceptive, controversial, topical, and achingly funny, Miriam Toews’s books have earned her a place at the forefront of Canadian literature. In Lives Lived, Lives Imagined: Landscapes of Resilience in the Works of Miriam Toews
, the first monograph on Toews’s work, Sabrina Reed skillfully demonstrates how Toews situates resilience across key themes, including: the home as both a source of trauma and an inspiration for resilient action; the road trip as a search for resolution and redemption; and the reframing of the Mennonite diaspora as an escape from patriarchal oppression.
A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder
tells the extraordinary story of Ma-Nee Chacaby’s inspiring life. From her early, often harrowing memories of abuse in a remote Ojibwa community riven by poverty and alcoholism, Chacaby’s story is one of enduring and ultimately overcoming the social, economic, and health legacies of colonialism. An educational text crucial to understanding the challenges still faced by many Indigenous people, this life history was nominated for many awards, including the Lambda Literary Award, and won the Oral History Association’s 2017 Book Award and the Ontario Historical Society’s 2018 Alison Prentice Award.