Virtual Bilingual
Book Club

Our book of the hour:

Halfbreed by Maria Campbell

Are you interested in second language learning and Canadian literature?

Join our book club on Maria Campbell’s book Halfbreed, which is available in French and English. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss with other participants while learning through this seminal text of Canadian literature.

Context

As part of the Linguistic Duality Network’s programming, the Dialogue Foundation is launching a book club for beginner and intermediate learners (French and English) who are passionate about Canadian literature. The goal is to promote linguistic duality with participants’ second language while enhancing foundational knowledge of Canada’s colonial history.

Goals

  • Engaging with linguistic duality
  • Demystify the meaning of linguistic duality to all Canadians
  • Recognize the languages of Indigenous Peoples
  • Celebrate open-mindedness and inclusivity as Canadian values

Results

  • Improve second-language learning
  • Increase knowledge of Canadian literature
  • Develop vocabulary in the second language
  • Exchange discussions with peers

Halfbreed by Maria Campbell

Print length

340

Publisher

McClelland & Stewart

Publication date

Nov 5,  2019

ISBN

9782897442484

Summary

An unflinchingly honest memoir of her experience as a Métis woman in Canada, Maria Campbell's Halfbreed depicts the realities that she endured and, above all, overcame. Maria was born in Northern Saskatchewan, her father the grandson of a Scottish businessman and Métis woman--a niece of Gabriel Dumont whose family fought alongside Riel and Dumont in the 1885 Rebellion; her mother the daughter of a Cree woman and French-American man. This extraordinary account, originally published in 1973, bravely explores the poverty, oppression, alcoholism, addiction, and tragedy Maria endured throughout her childhood and into her early adult life, underscored by living in the margins of a country pervaded by hatred, discrimination, and mistrust. Laced with spare moments of love and joy, this is a memoir of family ties and finding an identity in a heritage that is neither wholly Indigenous or Anglo; of strength and resilience; of indominatable spirit.

This edition of Halfbreed includes a new introduction written by Indigenous (Métis) scholar Dr. Kim Anderson detailing the extraordinary work that Maria has been doing since its original publication 46 years ago, and an afterword by the author looking at what has changed, and also what has not, for Indigenous people in Canada today. Restored are the recently discovered missing pages from the original text of this groundbreaking and significant work.

The writer

The selected book is Halfbreed, from Métis author Maria Campbell. Native of what we know today as the province of Saskatchewan, the book has recently been made available in French 50 years after its original publication. For fans of Canadian, Indigenous and feminist studies, this book is a must-read for those who wish to challenge themselves beyond the second language learning. 

In Halfbreed, the author exposed poverty, exclusion and systemic racism in a powerful language. The French translation is the result of a thoughtful collaborative work between Charles Bender and Jean Marc Dalpé. 

Registration and things you need to know

Since the goal is to ease your second language learning process, you have the choice to read it in either French or English. Once your registration is confirmed, find the book at your local library.

The book must be read by

February 14, 2023.

A reading guide will be sent to facilitate the reading experience for those who find it difficult.  

Registration is open until January 30, 2023 ! 

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