It all depended on your blood. In Saskatchewan, where there were whites, Indians and halfbreeds -- who were both and neither...

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HALFBREED

It all depended on your blood. In Saskatchewan, where there were whites, Indians and halfbreeds -- who were both and neither -- Maria Campbell, about one-fourth Indian, grew up never knowing who she was and hating it. She also lived in poverty with a trapper father (""another defeated man"" after becoming active in politics), a mother who died in childbirth, seven other younger siblings and Great-Grandmother Cheechum, who bequeathed the memory of a failed half-breed rebellion in the 1880's and a hope of a better world. As a way out, Maria, at fifteen, married a white man whom she didn't love: drugs, drink, prostitution, a mental breakdown followed rapidly. Finally she got her Cheechum's message straight -- to ""go out and discover for myself the need for leadership and change."" Less earthy than one of Oscar Lewis' tapes, but still a straightforward account of the development of one racial consciousness, for those who have the time or curiosity to pay attention.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 1973

ISBN: 0803263112

Page Count: -

Publisher: Saturday Review Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1973