Books·Canadian

Song of Batoche

Maia Caron's novel Song of Batoche reimagines the North-West resistance of 1885 through the Métis women of Batoche, and in particular the rebellious outsider, Josette Lavoie.

Maia Caron

Batoche is the promised land. In 1884, the buffalo have disappeared from the plains, and J.A. Macdonald needs the fertile land along the Saskatchewan River for European settlers. But this raw wilderness has long been claimed by the Métis.

They have invited Louis Riel, the exiled rebel leader, to fight for their farms, unaware that he considers them one of the lost tribes of Israel, and he the prophet David meant to save them from tyranny.

Josette and Gabriel Dumont draw closer to one another in their struggle to manage Riel, who is determined that he will meet the Dominion army only in Batoche, the City of God. When General Middleton and his soldiers storm their rifle pits, the Métis question the man with the courage to rise against the might of a general obsessed with avoiding the same mistakes Custer made at the Little Bighorn.

Is Riel God's instrument or a mad saint? (From Ronsdale Press)

Interviews

Maia Caron on her historical novel "Song of Batoche," where she tells the story of the 1885 Metis resistance from the viewpoint of female characters. 12:24

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now