THE SECRET OF YOUR NAME/KIIMOOCH KA SHINIKASHOOYEN by David Bouchard

THE SECRET OF YOUR NAME/KIIMOOCH KA SHINIKASHOOYEN

by , illustrated by , translated by
Age Range: 10 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

A moving poem gives voice to the yearning of a Métis man for the names of his Native ancestors. In modified ballad form (sometimes rhymed, sometimes unrhymed), the poet addresses these grandmothers whose names have been obscured by racism and cultural self-hatred. “I don’t know how to tell you / I can only say I’m sorry / That no one ever told me / That you were Anishnaabe.” Métis artist Weber provides monumental paintings of both imagined historical scenes of French trappers and First Nations people in the wilderness and portraits of key Métis figures, including the author, with candy-striped Hudson’s Bay Company blankets and coats providing a visual through-line. Fleury’s Michif translation runs alongside the English text, and the accompanying CD (featuring noted Métis fiddler John Arcand) presents both read aloud. An introduction contextualizes the poem in history. The white text set on mostly earth-brown backgrounds is occasionally difficult to read, but this provides a window on a culture largely unknown in the United States, though its burden will be felt by many whose pasts have disappeared in the Melting Pot. (Poetry. 10 & up)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-88995-439-7
Page count: 36pp
Publisher: Red Deer Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2010




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