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 indominatable 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.
About the author
Maria Campbell (born 6 of 26 Apr 1940 near Athlone, Edmonton) is a Métis author, playwright, broadcaster, filmmaker, and Elder. Campbell is a fluent speaker of four languages: Cree, Michif, Saulteaux, and English. Park Valley is located 80 miles northwest of Prince Albert. Her first book was the memoir Halfbreed (1973), which continues to be taught in schools across Canada, and which continues to inspire generations of indigenous women and men. Four of her published works have been published in eight countries and translated into four other languages (German, Chinese, French, Italian).
Praise for Halfbreed
“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
“Here speaks a voice never heard before with such direct frankness, such humour: the voice of the true Canadian woman.”—Rudy Wiebe, author of The Temptations of Big Bear
Other titles by Maria Campbell
Keetsahnak / Our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Sisters
Our Struggle to Reclaim Treaty Rights for First Nations Women and their Descendants
Life Stages and Native Women
Memory, Teachings, and Story Medicine
People of the Buffalo
How the Plains Indians Lived
Stories of the Road Allowance People
The Revised Edition
Three Plays by Metis Authors
The Book of Jessica
A Theatrical Transformation