Halfbreed by Maria Campbell

This is Maria Campbell's memoir of what it is like to be a Metis woman. This memoir is powerful.

Maria shares stories about her childhood, growing up in her community in Saskatchewan. She is the oldest of eight children and has to leave school when her mother dies so she can take care of the home and younger siblings.

Maria marries very young and has a daughter. She shares intimate and personal stories about her marriage and how she ends up being a sex worker in Vancouver, eventually turning to drugs and alcohol to cope. The story is not so much about these things happening, but why they happened.

There is so much in this little book. The story has a great impact. Maria's writing is like storytelling. Within the storytelling, the terrible experiences are expressed right alongside the positive experiences. There is the feeling that they are not told for shock value; they are told because it happened. When Maria describes something joyful, you feel joyful and when she describes violence and pain, you feel that pain too.

This book is about survival. Survival from colonization, oppression, racism and violence. This book may have been published in the early 70’s, but its relevancy is just as important today. A valuable read for all Canadians.

Bookworm Rating: 🐛🐛🐛🐛🐛

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