Indians Don’t Cry

Gaawiin Mawisiiwag Anishinaabeg

George Kenny (Author), Renate Eigenbrod (Editor), Patricia M. Ningewance (Translator)

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.

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.


“Indians Don’t Cry is a powerful text of cultural survivance and it is perhaps more relevant today than it was when it was first published. Readers interested in Aboriginal history and culture will gravitate toward this remarkable story.”

– Warren Cariou, Director, Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, University of Manitoba

“Indians Don’t Cry ultimately reflects the thoughts and feelings of George Kenny, a man who has lived both on a reserve and in an urban setting — a man possessed some would say — but a man who, more than many, accurately reflects the alienation, frustration, hopes and dreams of urban natives in this small but important book.”

– Nick Ternette, City Magazine (1987)

“The stories and poetry vividly portray the everyday challenges of indigenous peoples seeking to survive amid urban settler society. Inspirational and thought-provoking, Indians Don’t Cry is especially recommended for public library collections.”

Midwest Book Review

About the Authors

George Kenny is from Lac Seul First Nation in northwestern Ontario. He is currently completing a masters degree in Environmental Studies so that he can continue to write about the culture of Anishinaabe people of Lac Seul and the English River, the source of his creativity.

Renate Eigenbrod (1944-2014) taught Native Studies at the University of Manitoba and was the author of Travelling Knowledges: Positioning the Im/Migrant Reader of Aboriginal Literatures in Canada.

Patricia M. Ningewance is an Anishinaabe translator from Lac Seul First Nation. She has more than thirty years’ experience in language teaching, translation and media work.

Book Details

  • Indians Don’t Cry: Gaawiin Mawisiiwag Anishinaabeg
  • George Kenny (Author), Renate Eigenbrod (Editor), Patricia M. Ningewance (Translator)
  • Published October 2014, 190 pages
  • Paper, ISBN: 978-088755-769-9, 5.5 × 8.5, $24.95
  • Topic(s): Indigenous Studies, Literature
  • Part of the U of M Press series: First Voices, First Texts

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