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LOST BOY FROM A LINE OF HEROS
In August, 1943, Gordon Miller’s mother, Alice and his eleven-year-old sister, Lillian, flew from the town of Gogama in Northern Ontario to visit family in Biscotasing. The small plane in which they were travelling crashed on landing in Lake Biscotasing killing its passengers. That tragedy altered life forever for twelve-year-old Gordon and his father, James Wishart Miller.
Gordon Miller brings to life a bygone period and the transition to urbanization of Canada’s north. For more than two hundred years his Indigenous, Scottish, Irish and English ancestor played many roles in Canada’s fur trade, as voyageurs, trappers, and traders with the Northwest Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company.
His memoir looks back on an era of trading posts, trap lines and canoe brigades in Canada’s North, and to some of the characters like Archie Belaney (Grey Owl) and Tom Thompson, who were lured North by its “romantic” ethos.
Gordon Miller is a writer and visual artist of white and Indigenous descent, living in Oakville, Ontario. He is a member of Mattagami First Nation. He experienced part of his life as an invisible minority with an internal and unacknowledged otherness. Since embracing his multicultural roots, he has achieved a spiritual and cultural rebirth reflected in his art and writing.
Kokum's Gift: Teachings from Ojibway and Cree Spirituality, Culture, and Traditions is a unique publication that is part art exhibition catalogue, part historical photograph archive, part quotable quote and part poetry collection.
The content was developed into a cohesive whole by Cree and Ojibway artist and writer Gordon Miller, a member of the Mattagami First Nation.
The artist has created 20 art paintings that correspond to a specific poem and theme such as creation, caribou, the storyteller, powwow dancer, the windigo, three sisters, Crowfoot's words, the guardian, going home, seven clans of the Anishinawbe, and Kokum's gift.
The second section of the this 99-page book is a selection of quotes from historical figures such as Tecumseh, Red Cloud, Chief Seattle, Chief Dan George, and Black Elk.
The next section includes twelve pieces of original paintings such as the moving piece, Treaty 9 Mattagami Post 1909. The final selection includes family archival black and white photographs called my photographs of a proud and self-reliant people. These images show family in front of their log home, a couple picking blueberries, children posing in front of a one-room schoolhouse, and a family summer camp.
The overall impact of this book is one that clearly speaks to a First Nation man's worldview and spiritual teachings.
It is available at Goodminds.com and can be ordered from the author.