cover image Rekindling the Sacred Fire: Metis Ancestry and Anishinaabe Spirituality

Rekindling the Sacred Fire: Metis Ancestry and Anishinaabe Spirituality

Chantal Fiola. University of Manitoba Press, $31.95 trade paper (256 p) ISBN 978-0-88755-770-5

At a time when questions of identity are so important for people who have found themselves marginalized as a result of colonialism, the M%C3%A9tis could not be a more appropriate group to consider in order to dig into the deeper questions of identity, community, and belonging. They occupy an uncanny space as there has not been, and still seems not to be, a coherent definition of their identity, whether it is native, %E2%80%98mixed blood', or other. Fiola, a professor of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba and a descendant of the Red River M%C3%A9tis, examines how the M%C3%A9tis identify with the traditions of the past, and where they fit in the present. Her central question is how can the M%C3%A9tis relate to their Anishinaabe past and spirituality? Addressing this, Fiola focuses on lived experiences through a series of interviews that address identity, self-perception and the question of community. She focuses on how the M%C3%A9tis can rediscover their heritage and the implications in identity politics, law and history. This is a great book in an under researched field that tackles important questions without an overt recourse to the typical type of theory that can be alienating in itself. (July 2015)