Don’t They Kick When You Do That? Volume 2
DriverWorks Ink / 26 October 2023

Don’t They Kick When You Do That? Vol 2 More Stories of a Prairie Veterinarianby Dr. Gary HoiumPublished by DriverWorks InkReview by Michelle Shaw$19.95 ISBN 9781927570814 An anxious Saint Bernard with a muzzle full of porcupine quills, four escaped buffalo that inadvertently crossed the international border into Canada and an escaped tomcat that resulted in an unusual “fishing” experience. These are a few of the heartwarming and quirky scenarios Dr Gary Houim relates in Don’t They Kick When You Do That? Vol 2 More Stories of a Prairie Veterinarian , the sequel to his popular 2021 memoir Don’t They Kick When You do That? For more than 30 years, Dr Gary Hoium was the owner of a mixed animal clinic in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Mixed animal is a simple way of saying that he treated everything in the surrounding areas from turtles to alpacas. Most of his day-to-day work of course was more routine – calving cows, caring for injured cattle and horses and the many small animal concerns and emergencies of a busy veterinary clinic. But never, ever snakes. And yes, there’s a story in that! Gary Hoium is a wonderful storyteller. He sets each scene with a vivid sense…

kâ-pî-isi-kiskisiyân – The Way I Remember
University of Regina Press / 26 October 2023

kâ-pî-isi-kiskisiyân / The Way I Rememberby Solomon RattPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$25.95 ISBN 9780889779143 I went to school with a relative of educator, writer, storyteller and keeper of the Woods Cree language, Solomon Ratt, so when his memoir kâ-pî-isi-kiskisiyân / The Way I Remember became available for review, I requested it. Blurbs from Buffy Sainte-Marie (“Sol is an international treasure …”) and Maria Campbell (“This is an important book …”) demonstrate that Ratt’s highly lauded for his work in restoring Woods Cree and preserving the traditional stories he heard near his home community “on the banks on the Churchill River just north of … Stanley Mission”. Ratt’s 340-page autobiography is uniquely and significantly presented in Cree th-dialect Standard Roman Orthography, syllabics and English. The cover features a photo of the smiling author, and this joviality’s evident in many of his autobiographical stories. Between ages six and sixteen, Ratt was “Torn from his family” for ten months each year to attend All Saints Indian Student Residential School in Prince Albert, SK. The abuse that several thousands of residential school survivors endured has been documented via the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2007-2015), and the multi-generational legacy…

Endless Sky Books / 6 October 2023

Simiakiaby Lori WindowsPublished by Endless Sky BooksReview by Toby A. Welch$24.99 ISBN 9781989398760 I haven’t read a western in years and now I’m wondering why. Simiakia has drawn me back into the genre with gusto! The title of this book initially confused me. What the heck is a simiakia? A cross between a Siamese cat and a Kia Sportage? Nope. For the Indigenous Nez Perce people, it means a belief in themselves, denoting manhood and pride. In this book, it’s also the name of a long-deceased horse that became a symbolic totem.  The cover of Simiakia threw me back to my days as a kid when my dad left Louis L’Amour books lying around the house. The covers of those classic westerns hinted at what was to come when you cracked open the book. This cover did the same with a boy on a horse, his trusty dog, and a First Nations warrior. I knew before starting chapter one that I was diving into a modern western.  This book starts out in the late 1950s but quickly jumps to 1986. Al, a teenager on a downward path, gets a job at a ranch that he initially tried to steal from. The ranch owner, Celia, gives him a…