About the Author

Myrna Kostash

Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, award-winning nonfiction writer Myrna Kostash is the author of ten books, including All of Baba's Children and The Doomed Bridegroom: A Memoir. In addition to contributing articles to magazines such as Geist, Canadian Geographic, and Literary Review of Canada, Kostash has written radio documentaries and theatre playscripts. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in numerous Canadian and international anthologies, such as The Thinking Heart: Best Canadian Essays, Slice Me Some Truth: An Anthology of Canadian Creative Nonfiction, Desire: Women Write About Wanting, Literatura na S´wiecie (Warsaw), and Mostovi (Belgrade).

A founder of the Creative Nonfiction Collective, Kostash has also served as president of the Writers' Guild of Alberta and as chair of the Writers' Union of Canada. In 2008 the Writers Guild of Alberta presented her with the Golden Pen Award for lifetime achievement, and in 2009 she was inducted into the City of Edmonton's Arts and Culture Hall of Fame. In 2010 she received the Writers Trust of Canada Matt Cohen Award for A Writing Life. Her latest book, Prodigal Daughter: A Journey into Byzantium, was released in 2010 by the University of Alberta Press. She is at work on a public family history about her grandparents.

Books by this Author

Bloodlines

A Journey into Eastern Europe
edition:Paperback
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Long Way From Home

Long Way From Home

The Story of the Sixties Generation in Canada
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover
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Long Way from Home

Long Way from Home

The Story of the Sixties Generation in Canada
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
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Prodigal Daughter

Prodigal Daughter

A Journey to Byzantium
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged : orthodox, literary
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Reading the River

Reading the River

A Traveller's Companion to the North Saskatchewan
edition:Paperback
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Seven Oaks Reader, The
Excerpt

Preface

Modelled after my Frog Lake Reader (NeWest Press, 2009), The Seven Oaks Reader gathers together a wide diversity of texts with differing perspectives to narrate a controversial historic event, in this case the "battle" between armed settlers and armed Métis buffalo hunters on 19 June 1816 at The Forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers in what is now Winnipeg. The death of twenty-one settlers and one Métis led to no conclusive judicial outcome but has reverberated down through the generations of descendents of both communities as a formative event in their history in western Canada. As a born and bred western Canadian who has lived most of her life in Alberta, I was nevertheless ignorant of this "legacy" incident and so I set out to find as many sources for its telling as I could.

An initial treatment of these materials was broadcast in 2011 as Incident at Seven Oaks on the CBC Radio "Ideas" program (produced by Kathleen Flaherty), and it is from that program that I have used excerpts of interviews with Jack Bumsted, Ron Bourgeault, and Lyle Dick.

More than a textbook or anthology of voices, the Reader works as a drama of interplaying, sometimes contradictory, contrapuntal narratives. Given that some of the narrative dates to 1816 and that the historians themselves began publishing histories of Manitoba as far back as the 1850s, it is unsurprising that, from an editorial point of view, there are inconsistencies and even infelicities of word usage and spelling. So, one reads of both the Hudson Bay Company and the Hudson's Bay Company, of North-Westers and Nor'Westers (agents and employees of the North West Company), of Bois Brules and Bois-Brûlés, of mixed bloods and Mixed Bloods, of Metis and Métis, of Miles Macdonell and Miles MacDonnell. There are discrepancies among accounts of dates, numbers, and place names. Certain words and characterizations, now found offensive, were in common circulation as male Euro-Canadian voices long dominated the telling of this tale. But the last half-century has introduced a welcome chorus of new voices from among Aboriginal and female narrators.

The Reader is published in the wake of the Report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It is my and the publisher's hope that it will find favour among Canadian readers generally and educators specifically who are called upon by the Commission to "build student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect." It is in that spirit that it is offered to the public.

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The Frog Lake Reader

The Frog Lake Reader

edition:eBook
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The Seven Oaks Reader

The Seven Oaks Reader

edition:eBook
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