The Pemmican Eaters

In this collection of poetry, Marilyn Dumont paints a portrait of the Riel Resistance through the eyes of her ancestors.

Marilyn Dumont

With a title derived from John A. Macdonald's moniker for the Métis, The Pemmican Eaters explores Marilyn Dumont's sense of history as the dynamic present. Combining free verse and metered poems, her latest collection aims to recreate a palpable sense of the Riel Resistance period and evoke the geographical, linguistic/cultural, and political situation of Batoche during this time through the eyes of those who experienced the battles, as well as through the eyes of Gabriel and Madeleine Dumont and Louis Riel. Included in this collection are poems about the bison, seed beadwork, and the Red River Cart. Some of the poems employ elements of the Michif language, which, along with French and Cree, was spoken by Dumont's ancestors. (From ECW Press)

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From the book

gone, uncle they're gone

and something in us goes too following after

les animaux, those who you "called" as if they were your brother

les animaux, those who you called mon frère and herded with their great beards

les animaux, the brothers that have left us                          they have moved to another plain,

uncle, on the last unt instead of seeing a moving sea of brown backs, a rippling


now, you see only a few stumps feeding on grasses

now, their great size is swallowed by the bigger prairie

prairie, that once seemed like it couldn't hold all

les animaux, their sound like distant thunder will never reach your ears again

From The Pemmican Eaters by Marilyn Dumont ©2015. Published by ECW Press.

Author interviews

The Metis author talks about her latest book of poems, inspired by her Cree/Metis heritage.