From Left to Right
University of Regina Press / 26 January 2023

From Left to Rightby Dale EislerPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Madonna Hamel$34.95 (pb)ISBN 9780889778641 In his book From Left to Right: Saskatchewan’s Political and Economic Transformation, Dale Eisler helps us take a clear-eyed look at the province as the world economy shifted from post-industrial to global and the province’s population moved from farms to cities. Case in point: In 1971, 47% of Saskatchewan’s population lived on farms. By 2016 the the number was down to 16%. Eisler begins by attempting to define “populism” because , he says “the role of prairie populism is key to understanding the province’s values, economy and culture as a whole.” “For populism to ignite,” he writes, “two things are needed: something or someone to focus their anger and alienation on, and somebody who articulates their emotions in compelling and emotional language.” In engaging language Eisler describes the many faces of “populism” and how, over the decades, its meaning has changed to embrace both liberal and conservative voices. He is also quick to point to papa Trudeau’s cavalier disregard of the prairies when he asked, in 1969, “Why should I sell your wheat?” The off-handed comment aimed at a people who were losing their…

Why Not Now?
Lilac Arch Press / 26 January 2023

Why Not Now?by Denise Leduc, Illustrated by Karin SköldPublished by Lilac Arch PressReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$17.99 ISBN 9781778286933 I experienced quite the shock when I began Denise Leduc’s new book, Why Not Now? I’d recently reviewed the Aylesbury, Saskatchewan writer’s thoughtful children’s books—Poppies, Poppies Everywhere! and Letting Charlie Bow Go—and assumed this newest softcover was also for young readers. I dived right in—without reading the back cover text—and a glance at the large, well-spaced font also supported my notion that I was about to read a junior novel. Thus, the book’s first paragraph gave me a jolt: “Arriving at the Vancouver airport, Frank felt reinvigorated … He was glad his son, John, had insisted on coming.” What the …? I flipped to the back cover. Surprise! Leduc had me laughing at the genre-flip and my own presumption; Why Not Now? is a hi-lo (high interest/low reading level) book for older readers, ie: seniors with dementia. It’s also part of a series of hi-lo titles described as “heartwarming tales … especially crafted for people experiencing cognitive impairment.” With Sköld’s soft and uncluttered wildlife (bear, eagle), landscape and activity-based illustrations appearing between each of the short chapters; an engaging, intergenerational family…

Kayās Nōhcīn
University of Regina Press / 26 January 2023

Kayās Nōhcīn, I Come from a Long Time Backby Marie Louise RockthunderEdited by Jean L. Okimasis and Arok WolvengreyPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Madonna Hamel$24.95 (pb)ISBN 9780880778368 Collected over a quarter of a century, Mary Louise Rockthunder’s oral history put to paper is a national treasure. It is also a journey through space and time. And languages. A testament to the power of fidelity to timeless truths embedded in oral history, the editors of these stories write that “Mary Louise’s memory for her past is so detailed and precise that it was as if she stored her diaries in her mind.” Mary Louise Rockthunder (nee Bangs) was an Elder of Cree, Saulteaux and Nakoda descent, born in 1913 and raised and married at Piapot First Nation. Her stories, filled with humour and told with humility, are a testament to her rootedness, to her kinship with the land over time. She speaks in Cree, despite how some people tell her her English is fine. “Some don’t understand it right when English is spoken” she says, when relating her way of being in the world. “These white people, “she says, “what they really like is money.” But, she says, advising her grandchildren,…