Rekindling the Sacred Fire

Métis Ancestry and Anishinaabe Spirituality

Chantal Fiola (Author)

Why don’t more Métis people go to traditional ceremonies? How does going to ceremonies impact Métis identity? In Rekindling the Sacred Fire, Chantal Fiola investigates the relationship between Red River Métis ancestry, Anishinaabe spirituality, and identity, bringing into focus the ongoing historical impacts of colonization upon Métis relationships with spirituality on the Canadian prairies. Using a methodology rooted in Anishinaabe knowledge and principles along with select Euro-Canadian research practices and tools, Fiola’s work is a model for indigenized research.

Fiola’s interviews of people with Métis ancestry, or an historic familial connection to the Red River Métis, who participate in Anishinaabe ceremonies, shares stories about family history, self-identification, and their relationships with Aboriginal and Euro-Canadian cultures and spiritualities. This study seeks to understand the historical suppression of Anishinaabe spirituality among the Métis and its more recent reconnection that breaks down the colonial divisions between their cultures.

Awards

  • WINNER, Beatrice Mosionier Award for Aboriginal Writer of the Year, Manitoba Book Awards (2016)
  • WINNER, John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer, Manitoba Book Awards (2016)

Reviews

Rekindling the Sacred Fire: Metis Ancestry and Anishinaabe Spirituality is a clear work of scholarship. It connects us and it resolves the mystification of colonialism that we labour under.”

– Marilyn Dumont, Lee Maracle, and Garry Thomas Morse, judges, Beatrice Mosionier ‪‎Aboriginal‬ Writer of the Year Award, Manitoba Books Awards

“Chantal Fiola’s first published work, Rekindling the Sacred Fire: Metis Ancestry and Anishinaabe Spirituality, is a pathbreaking work of scholarship that delves into the sorely underexplored relationship between Metis identity and Indigenous spirituality. Both deeply personal and steeped in the experiences of others, this book deftly sidesteps academic obscurantism to emphasize the importance of dialogue and communal relations in defining a path to the sacred.”

– Joanne Kelly, Marjorie Poor, and John Toews, judges, John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer, Manitoba Books Awards

Rekindling the Sacred Fire provides a marvellous example and model of Indigenized research.”

– Julie Pelletier, Chair of Indigenous Studies at the University of Winnipeg

“Firmly pushes Métis studies forward in ways that intimately integrate Métis sovereignty in ongoing dialogue with those of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe, including the Saulteaux, Odawa, and Potawatomi) and Nêhiyawak (Cree).”

– Dylan A. T. Miner, Studies in American Indian Literatures

“A great book in an under researched field.”

Publishers’ Weekly (Link)

Rekindling the Sacred Fire serves as an excellent, albeit challenging, primer on the who, what and why of the Métis in Manitoba and elsewhere…it manages to raise hackles and goosebumps in turn.”

– Joel Boyce, Winnipeg Free Press (Link)

“A seminal work of truly impressive scholarship, Rekindling the Sacred Fire is exceptionally well written, organized and presented. Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking.”

– Helen Dumont, Midwest Book Review

“Apart from the author’s personal expose on her experience as a Métis person, Chantal reconfirms the real impact that the historical experience of living among the Anishinaabe had upon not only the material culture of her people, but also on how many of them came to view the world.”

– Blair Stonechild, 49th Shelf (Link)

“Shows a fidelity to an Indigenous methodology and is an exemplar for how we as historians of education need to revise the narrative to place learners at the centre. We need to hear from Métis learners as they set new points of reference in the history of Indigenous education.”

– Jonathan Anuik, University of Alberta, Historical Studies in Education

Rekindling the Sacred Fire was good medicine for this Métis woman.”

– Jónína Kirton

“Drawing on Indigenous history, contemporary events, family history, interviews with Métis individuals and her own experiences with reclaiming Anishinaabe spirituality, Fiola elegantly calls for a reconnection between Métis and First Nations and the dismantling of barriers. “

– Lianne C. Leddy, Herizons

“Fiola offers important insights into the dynamic of decolonization, the complexities of ethnicity, and the resurgence of Canada’s Métis people.”

– J.H. Rubin, University of Saint Joseph, CHOICE

“For anyone with questions about Métis identity and the paths we take to discover or rediscover our spirituality, this is a valuable read.”

– Tricia Logan, Royal Holloway/University of London, American Indian Culture And Research Journal

Rekindling the Sacred Fire takes a reader on a learning journey. It shows a fidelity to an Indigenous methodology and is an exemplar for how we as historians of education need to revise the narrative to place learners at the centre. We need to hear from Métis learners as they set new points of reference in the history of Indigenous education.”

– Jonathan Anuik, University of Alberta, Historical Studies in Education / Revue d’histoire de l’éducation

About the Author

Chantal Fiola is Métis Anishinaabe-Kwe from the Red River region of Manitoba. She teaches Native Studies at the University of Manitoba.

Book Details

  • Rekindling the Sacred Fire: Métis Ancestry and Anishinaabe Spirituality
  • Chantal Fiola (Author)
  • Published April 2015, 228 pages
  • Paper, ISBN: 978-088755-770-5, 6 × 9, $27.95
  • Topic(s): History, Indigenous Studies, Religion

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