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  • The North-West Is Our Mother

  • The Story of Louis Riel's People, the Metis Nation
  • Written by: Jean Teillet
  • Narrated by: Jean Teillet
  • Length: 14 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Americas
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (195 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

There is a missing chapter in the narrative of Canada’s Indigenous peoples - the story of the Métis Nation, a new Indigenous people descended from both First Nations and Europeans

Their story begins in the last decade of the 18th century in the Canadian North-West. Within 20 years the Métis proclaimed themselves a nation and won their first battle. Within 40 years they were famous throughout North America for their military skills, their nomadic life and their buffalo hunts. 

The Métis Nation didn’t just drift slowly into the Canadian consciousness in the early 1800s; it burst onto the scene fully formed. The Métis were flamboyant, defiant, loud, and definitely not noble savages. They were nomads with a very different way of being in the world - always on the move, very much in the moment, passionate and fierce. They were romantics and visionaries with big dreams. They battled continuously - for recognition, for their lands and for their rights and freedoms. In 1870 and 1885, led by the iconic Louis Riel, they fought back when Canada took their lands. These acts of resistance became defining moments in Canadian history, with implications that reverberate to this day: Western alienation, Indigenous rights and the French/English divide. 

After being defeated at the Battle of Batoche in 1885, the Métis lived in hiding for 20 years. But early in the 20th century, they determined to hide no more and began a long, successful fight back into the Canadian consciousness. The Métis people are now recognized in Canada as a distinct Indigenous nation. Written by the great-grandniece of Louis Riel, this popular and engaging history of “forgotten people” tells the story up to the present era of national reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. 

Title: Métis camp with Red River carts at [Milk River Lake, Alberta]

Source: Library and Archives Canada/George M. Dawson fonds/e011156514  

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2019 Jean Teillet (P)2021 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The North-West Is Our Mother

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  • Overall
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Fantastic historical account that all Canadians should be acquainted with.

First off, the narrator does a good job, so no concerns there.
As someone who grew up in the prairies, we were always indoctrinated that the Métis were not a legitimate group and Louis Riel was both bloodthirsty and crazy.
This book gives a wonderfully written history of how the Metis came to be all the way to their situation in present day. Of course an oral history can never be 100% accurate, but this book gives a very fair, detailed, and arguably objective account of Metis history. It explains the Metis Nation as a whole, and in its sub-categories.
I wish I could have had access to this work back when I was in high school being whitewashed.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Just wow, wow, and more wow.

Finished this today, and I'm a changed person. What an amazing book on the history of Canada, and The Metis people. I feel the author does a great job detailing the parallel life a Metis person must endure. Upon reflection, it's ways of thinking politically, spiritually, socially that makes a nation so perhaps one could view the Metis as a bridge between First Nation people and the people who settled here? Perhaps I could even call my Metis family The Children of Canada?

3 people found this helpful

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True Canadian history!

Love this book. This book is so full of information... I immediately listened again when finished. Easy to listen to... very well read.👍👍

2 people found this helpful

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Mandatory reading

In order for Canada to truly know it’s own identity, this book should be mandatory reading at universities across the nation. We have needed this book for a long time. Canadians no longer have the convenient excuse of not knowing who the Métis are or how the people helped form the country into what it is today. As a storyteller, Jean Teillet has made this truth telling easy to read.

2 people found this helpful

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Clear, concise, endearing, honest, & shameful.

My grandmother had to hide our proud heritage so we could succeed. This is why.

2 people found this helpful

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Complete history of the Mètis

A people unique from all other First Nation communities of Turtle Island. Thank you.

1 person found this helpful

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👍👍

It is pretty cool hearing my family name in old stories.I am quite enjoying it

1 person found this helpful

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Canadian history we should have leaned in school

It has been a few decades since I attended school but I have heard from the younger generation that this history is still not included in the curriculum. This should be rectified. I found this account well written, the narrator’s voice was easy to listen to, and the timeline was fast paced enough to keep it interesting.

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Very informative.

I always knew that the First Nation's were short changed. But I had no idea how poorly the Mètis People have been treated.

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The other side of history

It took a bit to get into this but and although it made me feel for the first time ashamed of Canada I’m very glad I read it.
Honestly I think it’s time we stop apologizing for what our ancestors have done and get on to the job of repairing the harm they caused.
Thank you Ms Teillet for the education

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  • Aedificator
  • 2021-10-28

Métis history primer

A good primer on the history of Métis resistance to Canada's violence towards them. The reign of terror against the Red River people J.A. MacDonald sat idly by and watched happen is thoroughly laid out.

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  • KLK
  • 2021-08-10

Well told - educational storytelling

I loved this book. It is so dense I will listen to it again. I am a Canadian and when I was in school in the 1960s and 1970s, we learned American and British history. This was a delightful, entertaining way to learn about the history of my birth country. Well written, well narrated, thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • Chelsee
  • 2021-06-02

beautiful account of history

great vocal performance in addition to being witty, honest, and intelligent. Greatly appreciate Jean's deep knowledge of the law. a long and very healing listen

1 person found this helpful