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My Mother's Legacy cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-916560-1
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Standard Color interior
    • 108 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-916561-8
    • 6.0 x 9.0 inches
    • Standard Color interior
    • 108 pages
  • Keywords
    • Indigenous issues in Canada,
    • Residential schools,
    • Metis heritage,
    • Truth and reconciliation,
    • Survival story,
    • Canadian history,
    • Family memoir

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My Mother's Legacy
by Bonita Nowell

A survival story and celebration of one woman’s life, My Mother's Legacy is also a glimpse of the spirit, culture, and history of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. From life on the trapline in the Far North to meeting the Pope at the Vatican, this is Angie Mercredi-Crerar’s journey of perseverance and triumph—as told by her daughter. Angie's happy and loving childhood in Fort Resolution (Deninu Kue, “moose island place”), Northwest Territories, is vividly reimagined and contrasted with the atrocity of her time in residential school, when Indigenous children were forcibly taken from their families and isolated in remote institutions. But Angie survives and thrives as a renowned Métis Elder in Alberta, dedicated to making a difference for the Métis and meeting with Pope Francis as part of a delegation seeking an apology and restitution for the Catholic Church’s role in Canada’s residential school system. Through her mother’s story, author Bonita Nowell forges a connection with family, ancestors, and community, as well as readers who may not have intimate knowledge of life in the North and the era of residential schools in Canada. This book honours Angie while also reflecting on life in the North and weaving together memorable characters and pivotal historic moments on the path to reconciliation.

Bonita Nowell photo

The eldest of her mother’s ten children, family historian Bonita Nowell began to trace the family tree after Alex Haley's 1976 book, Roots, came out. Inspired by Haley's genealogical detective work, Nowell pieced together her own family history through interviews, correspondence, records, family, friends, and Elders near and far. She discovered that she’s a sixth-generation Northerner and direct descendant of Francois Beaulieu (1771–1872), "Le Patriarche,” a founding father of the Métis of the Northwest Territories. Born in Yellowknife, Nowell returned to the Northwest Territories’ capital more than thirty-five years ago to live, work, marry, and raise her daughter. She's a member of the Northwest Territory Métis Nation and a graduate of the University of Calgary, where she completed the Creative Writing Certificate Program. An academic author and co-author of many publications, Nowell has won numerous public sector awards, including a 2016 Premier's Award for Collaboration. She enjoys a creative life and spending time with her family at the cabin.


Bonita Nowell

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