The Next Chapter·Dog-Eared Reads

Why Paul Seesequasis loves reading Maria Campbell's essential memoir Halfbreed

The writer and journalist shares why he re-reads Halfbreed by Maria Campbell.
Paul Seesequasis is a Willow Cree writer, cultural activist and journalist. (Red Works Photography, Paul Seesequasis)

Paul Seesequasis is a writer and journalist and member of the Plains Cree First Nation from Saskatchewan.

Seesequasis curates the Indigenous Archival Photo Project, an online and physical exhibition of archival Indigenous photographs, that explores history, identity and the process of visual reclamation. His photo book, Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun, was published in 2019.

Seesequasis was also a reader for the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize.

The book he tells The Next Chapter that he loves to re-read is Halfbreed by Maria Campbell.

"A book I like to go back to is Maria Campbell's Halfbreed, which was a seminal book about a woman's life, a young Métis woman growing up in the western prairies. It's about the hardships and racism she faced — but at the same time, it's about her strength and resilience. 

Halfbreed has, and always will have, a lasting impact for Indigenous literature.

"Maria is very much a kokum, a grandmother for many of us. Halfbreed has, and always will have, a lasting impact for Indigenous literature." 

Paul Seesequasis's comments have been edited for length and clarity.

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