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Matthew R. Anderson Launching The Good Walk (In-Person + Streaming)

Thursday May 16 2024 7:00 pm, Saskatoon

Join MATTHEW R. ANDERSON and special guest LOUISE BERNICE HALFE - SKY DANCER for the Saskatoon launch of THE GOOD WALK: CREATING NEW PATHS ON TRADITIONAL PRAIRIE TRAILS (UNIVERSITY OF REGINA PRESS), featuring a musical performance by DAVE CYCA, and kindly sponsored by the SASKATCHEWAN HISTORY AND FOLKLORE SOCIETY.

This event will be hosted live in the Travel Alcove and also available as a simultaneous YouTube Stream.

The Good Walk is a memoir, travelogue, and manifesto, recounting how a growing group of dreamers instigated prairie pilgrimages on foot, starting in 2015 and continuing almost every year since. The story is steeped in Treaty Four and Treaty Six history and edged with Canadian, nêhiyaw, and Métis stories and poetry. It braids Indigenous perspectives together with rural Saskatchewan characters along routes increasingly emptied of the family farms and small towns that once defined a province. It doesn't shy away from the clearing of the plains in the 1870s and 1880s nor the 2016 killing of Colton Boushie that again separated the rural communities from the Indigenous communities. Travel with the author through prairie storms, family histories, and humorous encounters, and bear difficult witness to the evolving politics of ownership and of racialized land access.
 
Readers will share the real-life adventures of a group of Indigenous and settler walkers, trekking thousands of kilometres on swollen feet along the Traders' Road, the Battleford Trail, the Frenchman and the Fort Qu'Appelle Trails - prairie paths that haven't been walked in over a century.

Matthew R. Anderson was born to settlers on Treaty 4 territory near the Cypress Hills area. He now teaches part-time at both St. Francis Xavier and Concordia universities. Anderson is the author of several books, including Our Home and Treaty Land (with Raymond Aldred). His pilgrimage podcast is "Pilgrimage Stories from Up and Down the Staircase," and more of his work can be found at SomethingGrand.ca and UnsettledWords.com.

Louise Bernice Halfe Sky Dancer was raised on Saddle Lake Reserve and attended Blue Quills Residential School. Her first book, Bear Bones & Feathers, received the 1996 Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award and was a finalist for the Spirit of Saskatchewan Award, the Pat Lowther Award, and the Gerald Lampert Award. Blue Marrow was a finalist for the 1998 Governor General's Award for Poetry. The Crooked Good won the First Peoples' Publishing Award and the Saskatoon Book Award in 2008 and was shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award. Her fourth book, Burning in This Midnight Dream, won the 2017 Saskatchewan Book Award and the Raymond Souster Award, among numerous other awards. In 2018, as part of the Laurier Poetry Series, her previously published works were compiled in Sôhkêyihta: The Poetry of Sky Dancer Louise Bernice Halfe (edited by David Gaertner). Her latest book is awâsis -- kinky and dishevelled. Halfe was Saskatchewan's Poet Laureate for 2005-2006, was awarded the Latner Writers Trust Award for her body of work in 2017, and was awarded the 2020 Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence. She trained at Nechi Institute as a facilitator, has a Bachelor of Social Work, was granted a lifetime membership in the League of Canadian Poets, and has received three honorary doctorates. In January of 2021, Louise was selected to be Canada's 9th Parliamentary Poet Laureate, serving until December 2022. She currently works with Elders in the organization Opikinawasowin ("raising our children") and lives on the Prairies with her husband, Peter.

Dave Cyca has been described as a quintessential folk musician whose thoughtful lyrics and strong melodies integrate in a relaxed and personal style. His gentle humor and natural musicianship have been refined throughout the years of performing at community events and concerts in southwestern Saskatchewan. He has shared his music as a solo performer and has also collaborated with many other musicians where his bang-on vocal harmonies are always a pleasure. Dave attended the Emma Lake song writing retreat in 2009, 2010, 2011 where he worked with David J. Taylor (producer of the year award winner at the 2007 Western Canadian Music awards); Jay Semko, (lead singer/principle song-writer of the Northern Pikes); and Saskatoon singer/songwriter Kim Fontaine..

See:

The Good Walk

- Matthew R Anderson

Trade paperback $27.95
Reader Reward Price: $25.16

A motley group's long trek across the prairies, witnessing the land, reflecting on the past, and creating new paths for the future
 
Equal parts memoir, travelogue, and manifesto, The Good Walk recounts the adventures of settler and Indigenous ramblers who together retrace the earliest historical trails and pathways of the prairies. Readers will share the experience of trekking thousands of kilometres on swollen feet along the Traders' Road, the Battleford Trail, and the Frenchman Trail - prairie paths that haven't been trod for over a century.

The story is steeped in Treaty 4 and Treaty 6 history and is edged with Canadian, nêhiyaw, and Métis stories, politics, and poetry. It braids Indigenous and settler perspectives together along routes increasingly emptied of the family farms and small towns that once defined a province and doesn't shy away from the 1870s and 1880s clearing of the plains nor the 2016 killing of Colton Boushie.

Travel with the group of dreamers who instigated these annual prairie pilgrimages through prairie storms, small-town welcomes, and humorous chance encounters, all while bearing witness to the evolving politics of land ownership and the racialization of access.