Grouard Prayer Book Launch, 2010

Thank you to Albert Brulé for sharing this 2010 blog post from the University of Alberta Press – that I had never seen until last week. It marks an exciting day to have gathered in the reading room of the Provincial Archives of Alberta. With Dorothy Thunder, Naomi McIlwraith and Arok Wolvengrey counted among the authors, I remember that I had brought our dear mutual friend Donna Paskemin (who helped found CILLDI at UofA) along with me to help celebrate the event. Sadly, Donna passed away the next year.

The post with its copious photos is truly a treasure (I found myself, along with former UAP Director Linda Cameron, my old friend Peter Midgley and many more).

If there’s a single image that lives on in my mind, it’s the moment when the drummers began to play and sing. Although the smudge had been held outside, nothing but the laws of physics could constrain the epic sound waves of drums and singers in unison that radiated throughout the traditionally hushed reading room. The vibration spread through the assembled crowd, and resonated through the wooden tables and shelves, and through the very brick and mortar of the building itself. I remember grinning ear-to-ear, picturing in my mind’s eye the millions of papers, fastidiously sorted and shelved, products of so many old white men, being vibrated to the core by sounds that they’d never imagined.  It felt like a truly Cree moment of awakening.

Celebrating The Beginning of Print Culture in Athabasca Country

Although the book is out of stock at UAP, here’s a photo of the cover:


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