Carrying It Forward: Essays from Kistahpinanihk
John Brady McDonald
November 22, 2022
236 pages | ISBN 978-1-989496-59-6
John Brady McDonald has lived in Kistahpinânihk, an area that includes Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, for nearly all his life. A member of the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation and a grandson of Métis leader Jim Brady, John 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 he looks at everything from 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 Peoples of the Americas. In these compelling essays, John pulls us deep into the life he has lived in Kistahpinânihk and asks us to consider what life could be like in a New North Territory.
“Authentic and illuminating, Carrying It Forward is a candid and comprehensive account of the complexity of modern Indigenous life in Canada. John Brady McDonald’s compelling life stories are both unique and relatable. Through heartfelt honesty, he carefully and considerately invites the reader into his circle. It was a pleasure and an honour to get to know him through his powerful words. This collection is a vibrant showcase of the rich humanity that still thrives in Indigenous nations across Turtle Island.” – Waubgeshig Rice, author of Moon of the Crusted Snow
“John Brady McDonald’s Carrying It Forward is a gift to the future, documenting with searing honesty and funny precision what it is like to be a Cree artist, activist and survivor while envisioning what justice and reconciliation can and should be. From northern Saskatchewan to the United Kingdom, McDonald’s keen eye to detail and rich poetic descriptions forge place and time into surprising new homes built by love and fortified by truth. McDonald is a writer everyone should read now, here, today to make this place better.” – Niigaan Sinclair, columnist, Winnipeg Free Press
CARRYING IT FORWARD: ESSAYS FROM KISTAHPINANIHK BY JOHN BRADY MCDONALD (Anne Smith-Nochasak, Miramichi Reader, 13/11/2022)
"This book is a call to action. It is vivid and intense, and a compelling read."
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John's memoir makes this wonderful list!
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John's memoir is part of this great roundup!
About the Author
John Brady McDonald is a Nêhiyawak-Métis 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 Nêhiyawak. He is the author of several books, and his written works have been published and presented around the globe. He is also an acclaimed public speaker, who has presented in venues across the globe, such as the Ânskohk Aboriginal Literature Festival, the Black Hills Seminars on Reclaiming Youth, the Appalachian Mountain Seminars, the Edmonton and Fort McMurray Literary Festival, the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival and the Ottawa International Writers Festival. A noted polymath, John lives in Northern Saskatchewan.