North Spirit: Sojourns Among the Cree and Ojibway

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9781886913097: North Spirit: Sojourns Among the Cree and Ojibway
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In 1973 Paulette Jiles arrived in Northern Ontario to run a community radio station for the CBC. Romantic notions of primitive life quickly faded in the harsh setting. The first night, her axe bounced off frozen logs, and she would have frozen without a willing husky pup who shared her bed. She relied on helpful neighbors and quickly became a respected member of the community. The reader is treated to warm, humorous vignettes that convey Jiles's reverence for native tradition, myth and storytelling and her affection for unforgettable colleagues and companions.

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From the Inside Flap:

In 1974, when Paulette Jiles was first sent by the CBC to work as a journalist in Big Trout Lake, a village without radio or television in remote northern Ontario, she didn't know a bush plane from a backpack.

North Spirit is based on the seven years Jiles spent working with the northern Cree and Ojibway peoples, who call themselves Anishinabe.  This lyrical, witty and reflective book evokes a time when new technology is beginning to clash with the traditioinal culture.

At its center is the author's search for the meaning of the remote and sometimes terrifying Oda-Ka-Daun, or Stern Paddler, who moves his cosmic vessel through the heavens.  As she seeks to unravel this mystery, Jiles recounts her many adventures among the Anishinabe people and reveals the enduring legacy of their northern mythology.

From Library Journal:

Jiles (Univ. of Texas, San Antonio), a respected poet, has crafted a flowing, evocative personal narrative based on her seven years of work as a journalist in northern Ontario. She describes it as "a book of creative nonfiction" in which some of the events, times, and places have been rearranged for literary purposes but all the incidents are true. Jiles went to the Canadian North in 1974 to help set up an Indian radio station and later worked as a reporter for an Indian newspaper serving the Cree and Ojibway people. Her vignettes of northern life run the gamut from joy to pathos, from hope to tragedy. Jiles is painfully aware that the technologies she is helping to introduce will forever change the traditional way of life. Throughout her travels among the Cree and Ojibway, she seeks out elders-the older, respected members of each small village-to learn more of the traditions and mythology that are rapidly disappearing in the wake of technological progress. Jiles's lilting prose beautifully captures the spirit of the Canadian North and the vibrant though changing life of its native people. Highly recommended.
Elizabeth Salt, Courtright Memorial Lib., Westerville, Ohio
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780385255394: North Spirit: Sojourns Among the Cree and Ojibway

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ISBN 10:  038525539X ISBN 13:  9780385255394
Publisher: Doubleday Canada, 1996
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