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Publisher's Summary

A new, fully restored edition of the essential Canadian classic.

An unflinchingly honest memoir of her experience as a Métis woman in Canada, Maria Campbell's Halfbreed depicts the realities that she endured and, above all, overcame. Maria was born in Northern Saskatchewan, her father the grandson of a Scottish businessman and Métis woman - a niece of Gabriel Dumont whose family fought alongside Riel and Dumont in the 1885 Rebellion; her mother the daughter of a Cree woman and French-American man. This extraordinary account, originally published in 1973, bravely explores the poverty, oppression, alcoholism, addiction, and tragedy Maria endured throughout her childhood and into her early adult life, underscored by living in the margins of a country pervaded by hatred, discrimination, and mistrust. Laced with spare moments of love and joy, this is a memoir of family ties and finding an identity in a heritage that is neither wholly Indigenous or Anglo; of strength and resilience; of indomitable spirit.

This edition of Halfbreed includes a new introduction written by Indigenous (Métis) scholar Dr. Kim Anderson detailing the extraordinary work that Maria has been doing since its original publication 46 years ago, and an afterword by the author looking at what has changed, and also what has not, for Indigenous people in Canada today. Restored are the recently discovered missing pages from the original text of this groundbreaking and significant work.

©1973, 1982, 2019 Maria Campbell (P)2019 McClelland & Stewart

What the critics say

“You can almost feel this book vibrating in your hands, it is so compelling. You read it with a kind of agonized heart-in-the-mouth sensation, halfway between laughter and tears.... Truth is stronger than fiction.” (Victoria Times-Columnist)

“Sometimes a book tells us what we have always known but in a way that makes it seem as if we have not heard it before.” (Toronto Star)

“Powerful, simple, direct, and passionate without being bitter.” (CBC Radio Vancouver)

What listeners say about Halfbreed

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  • 2020-03-02

WOW!

Not just a great memoir...there is a history lesson for all Canadians. Loved the reference to Diefenbaker and what the locals thought of him as I know the CCF side of the story as the one belonging to my family. The performance is impeccable. And one can hear the touch of emotion in the sad parts and I can almost see the twinkle in her eye at the mischief. I definitely recommend.

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  • 2020-11-01

Maria is “life experience on the prairies”

I love the honesty and nuances that are laced in her story telling. Half breed remarks at the life that is a young Métis woman who experiences colonialism throughout the expansion and growth of a young country and province. They manner in which she weaves her knowledge is felt through this medium and her emphasis and context are heard with the telling of her journey. This book is amazing and this audio reading from her is even better. It’s like nohkum (my grandmother) is telling me of her life as I sit there and absorb her voice.

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Excellent.

Such an important and inspiring read. Hai' choo for sharing your life and lessons with us.

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Iconic

this book is Iconic and a must read/listen. Thank you Maria for sharing your story.

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Quintessential.

Halfbreed should be mandatory reading for all Canadians. I wish I could read the original 2000 page version they made Maria Campbell trim down.

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couldn't stop listening

So glad this is available on here. it's a must for every Canadian. loved that the author read the book too.