Meet the 2019 Writers


This event sponsored by: Claytons Heritage Market


4:00 pm ~ Sunday ~ August 18

Darrel J. McLeod

Darrel J McLeod
Photo by Ilja Herb

Stories can help us make sense of the world, and nowhere is this more evident than in Darrel J. McLeod’s memoir Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age. Growing up in small town northern Alberta, McLeod’s life was marked by his mother Bertha’s horrific experiences at residential school, leading to a life of violence, instability and poverty. Yet the stories of Cree culture and history that Bertha told her children had a lasting impact on McLeod, acting as companions to him as he journeyed down some interesting and adventurous paths in his life, including becoming a chief negotiator of land claims for the federal government and earning a degree in French literature. Mamaskatch, named after the Cree word that ranges in meaning from ‘how strange’ to ‘it’s a miracle,’ is a powerful, honest, and uplifting work, was a finalist for the RBC Taylor Prize and won the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction.

More on Darrel J. McLeod:

Cree author shares struggles, obstacles and angels in memoir

Book review: New memoir maps the terrain of reconciliation

Sooke author wins Governor General Literary Award