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How I discovered who I was.

by Revelle, over 3 years ago

At the age of 60 I found myself being published by Dundurn Press when they signed me to a contract for my novel I Am Algonquin (2013). It was a story of an Algonquin family unit during the 1300's pre-contact. Taking place in the Ottawa Valley and beyond my research introduced me to the culture of my ancestors and how they survived through times of hunger and warfare. Learning about the legends of that era I was able to weave a story of Historical Fiction that also became a journey of self discovery of who I was and where I had came from. What followed was two more novels Algonquin Spring (2015) and Algonquin Sunset (2017) that followed the story of this Algonquin group and their leader Mahingan and their interactions on Turtle Island. The books evolved into the Algonquin Quest Series of Young Adult books.

I wanted my novels to be unique in so much that I was able to use the Native languages of that era in the vernacular. The languages’ used in my book are Anishinaabe, Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk), Lakȟóta, Mi´kmaq, Omàmiwinini (Algonquin) and Ouendat (Huron). Now at the age of 65 I have been blessed with the publication of three novels that were just a figment of my imagination several years ago. The power of writing and research enabled me to discover who I was as a Native person. Writing the stories of the characters in these novels put me right there into the action and gave me a sense of being at their sides as they lived and died. Penning a novel is akin to having a "Theatre in your Mind." In the end the best experiences that I have been able to build on is the visits to schools to talk about the lives of Natives in that era and to enlighten our young people on Native culture.

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