Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada, 3rd Edition
Purich Publishing / 29 July 2009

Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada: Current Trends and Issues, 3rd Edition Edited by Yale D. Belanger Published by Purich Publishing Ltd. Review by Judith Silverthorne $45.00 ISBN 3 978-1895830-323 The third edition of Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada is an academic work. Like its predecessors, it presents a detailed and thorough analysis of the self-governance issues as they are unfolding in Canada. Edited by Yale D. Belanger, it has a forward by John H. Hylton, who was the editor of the first two editions. Policy makers, students and self-government practitioners will find this extensive volume of immense value. Belanger has gathered 19 comprehensive essays by 31 scholars and politicians to explore the practical side of a functioning self-government. The collection contains three updated chapters and the rest contain new and original material. The book is organized into five sections with section one covering the basic introduction to self-government as it understood in contemporary times. The beginning chapters include a recap the historical development and public acceptance of this concept. Then this impressive collection continues with the state of Aboriginal self-government in Canada today. The distinguished contributors go on to present an examination of the theories and the many practical issues surrounding its…

The Cult of Quick Repair
Coteau Books / 22 July 2009

The Cult of Quick Repair by Dede Crane Published by Coteau Books Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $18.95 ISBN 9-781550-503920 There’s a marvelous short story in Victoria, BC writer Dede Crane’s collection, The Cult of Quick Repair, about the bizarre circumstances that follow after a man’s one night-stand – the “act” is committed in his marriage bed – with a woman met at a staff party. Called “Raising Blood,” the tale begins with the man’s realization that a menstrual blood stain has been left on the $500 “pure Egyptian cotton” sheets his wife’s just purchased, and when he rinses them in hot water instead of cold, the stain, naturally, sets. The wife will be returning within hours from a business trip, and the race to erase the evidence is on. In the delicious romp that follows, the husband attempts to “raise his own blood” to explain the stain. One thing he tries is “a good hard trip up the stairs.” Crane writes: He “knelt down on the cement landing, and began to draw his knee back and forth. Scrape, scrape, scrape, he thought positively …” But this doesn’t work. An electric knife handily does the trick, but lands him in…

Return to Bone Tree Hill
Thistledown Press / 15 July 2009

Return to Bone Tree Hill by Kristin Butcher Published by Thistledown Books Review by Marie Powell Mendenhall $12.95 ISBN: 1-897235-58-4 This young adult mystery opens with Jessica Lawler’s recurring nightmare: she is 12 years old again, and she can see her friends Charlie and Amanda fighting. Charlie is shaking Amanda and he won’t let go. Jessica picks up Charlie’s shovel and swings it. Then Charlie is lying on the ground, his hair matted with blood… At 18, Jessica returns from Australia to visit her grandmother in Victoria, BC, where she grew up. She discovers Charlie went missing on the same day she contracted meningitis. With her memories clouded by illness, Jessica has to wonder: Is the dream true? Did she kill him? With the help of her best friend Jilly, Jessica pieces together the puzzle of Charlie’s disappearance. The bantering friendship between the two girls and the lingering guilt that drives Jessica are believable and well-developed. Twists and turns lead the story in several unexpected directions. Symbols like the tree and that well-known Canadian icon, the snow globe, also play a role. Following hunches and clues, the girls uncover community secrets along with Jessica’s memories. Kristen Butcher unravels the mystery…

Larger Than Life
Parkland Publishing / 8 July 2009

Larger Than Life: Saskatchewan’s BIG Roadside Monuments by Robin and Arlene Karpan Published by Parkland Publishing Review by Marie Powell Mendenhall $18.95 ISBN: 0-9683579-9-7 From the world’s largest still in Vonda, to four-by-eight-foot hockey cards in Kelvington, there couldn’t be a stone – er, monument – left uncovered by Saskatoon writer-photographers Robin and Arlene Karpan. More than 70 communities find their way into the 176 pages of Larger Than Life, their guide to Saskatchewan’s roadside attractions. Each is captured in black-and-white photos, with a 14-page section of colour photographs in the centre to show the decorative nature of these provincial icons. “Some are serious art, many tell a story, and some are just plain fun or a tongue-in-cheek look at some aspect of life in Saskatchewan,” write the authors in their introduction. The roadsides sport their share of human figures. For example, two 11.5-foot tall figures carry a 30-foot canoe through downtown La Ronge in “Portage,” a monument the Karpans say “symbolizes the north.” Mounted police in towns like Redvers and North Battleford vie with countless other figures such as Goodsoil Gus, the Willow Bunch Giant, Potash Pete in Esterhazy, Lignite Louie in Estevan, Santa Claus in Watson, and many…

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