John Brady McDonald has lived in Kistahpinanihk, an area that includes Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, for nearly all his life. A member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and a descendent of Metis leader Jim Brady, John Brady has worked to move carefully between these two nations – to learn their stories, honour their traditions and reclaim their languages, all of which were nearly lost to him. In this wide-ranging collection the author looks at everything from the city of Prince Albert to his experience of residential school, to northern firefighting, to his time in the United Kingdom, where he “discovered” and “claimed” the island for the First People of the Americas. These are essays filled with history, much careful observation and some hard-learned lessons about racism, about recovery, about the ongoing tragedies facing Indigenous peoples. With honesty, a poet’s turn of phrase and a bit of sly humour, John Brady pulls us deep into the life he has lived in Kistahpinanihk and asks us to consider what life could be like in a New North Territory.
About the author
John Brady McDonald is a Nehiyawak-Metis writer, artist, historian, musician, playwright, actor and activist born and raised in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He is from the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and the Mistawasis Nehiyawak. The great-great-great grandson of Chief Mistawasis of the Plains Cree, as well as the grandson of famed Metis leader Jim Brady, John's writings and artwork have been displayed in various publications, private and permanent collections and galleries around the world, including the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. John is one of the founding members of the P.A. Lowbrow art movement, and served as Vice President of the Indigenous Peoples Artists Collective for nearly a decade. John also served a term as vice-chair of the Board of Directors for Spark Theatre, and as a Senator with the Indigenous Council Committee of CUPE Saskatchewan. The author of several books, John studied at England's prestigious University of Cambridge, where in July 2000 he made international headlines by symbolically "discovering" and "claiming" England for the First Peoples of the Americas. John is also an acclaimed public speaker, who has presented in venues across the globe. His artwork and writing have been nominated for several awards, including the 2022 Saskatchewan Book of the Year Awards, the 2022 High Plains Book Awards, and the 2023 Lambda Literary Awards. John was awarded the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal (Saskatchewan).