Bearskin Diary

This novel by Carol Daniels blends fiction with Indigenous history and aims to gives voice to a generation of First Nations women who have always been silenced.

Carol Daniels

(Nightwood Editions)

Raw and honest, Bearskin Diary gives voice to a generation of First Nations women who have always been silenced, at a time when movements like Idle No More call for a national inquiry into the missing and murdered Aboriginal women. Carol Daniels adds an important perspective to the Canadian literary landscape.

Taken from the arms of her mother as soon as she was born, Sandy was only one of over 20,000 Aboriginal children scooped up by the federal government between the 1960s and 1980s. Sandy was adopted by a Ukrainian family and grew up as the only First Nations child in a town of white people. Ostracized by everyone around her and tired of being different, at the early age of five she tried to scrub the brown off her skin. But she was never sent back into the foster system and for that she considers herself lucky.

From this tragic period in her personal life and in Canadian history, Sandy does not emerge unscathed but she emerges strong — finding her way by embracing the First Nations culture that the Sixties Scoop had tried to deny. Those very roots allow Sandy to overcome the discriminations that she suffers every day from her co-workers, from strangers and sometimes even from herself. (From Nightwood Editions)

Read an excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

Twice a month Sandy and Ellen meet up for girls' night, a night to themselves to celebrate being young and beautiful and free. Girls' night usually starts with a nice, spicy meal at Meeka's, their favourite Greek restaurant. But not tonight. Plans have changed because of Ellen's overactive libido. Sandy feels compelled to hold her breath, hold her nose and hold her purse tight to her body. She's embarrassed to be making her way into a sleazy cowboy bar, still in disbelief that she let Ellen talk her into coming here.

From Bearskin Diary by Carol Daniels ©2015. Published by Nightwood Editions.

Author interviews

Author Carol Daniels blends fiction with Canada's Indigenous history in Bearskin Diary 14:10