Speak to Me in Indian

A Novel


“a simple yet devastatingly beautiful account of human life…”  Life in Quebec

Shane Bearskin, a Cree from James Bay, and Theresa Wawati, an Algonquin from Northern Quebec, are united by a profound love and a visceral attachment to their cultural heritage. Both have experienced the challenges that face so many young people from indigenous communities. Though they are now studying in Montreal, they are determined to buck everything modern society would impose on them and return to live in the bush, like their ancestors, and have a baby.

David Gidmark is the author of ten books. Born in Winsconsin, he has lectured on the birchbark canoe throughout the world, including at the Smithsonian Institution. David Gidmark lives in Maniwaki, Québec.

He broached the subject that he knew was very sensitive for
her, but as important to her as it was to him.
“Do you miss your children?” he asked gently.
And it seemed as soon as the last syllable reached her ears, her
eyes welled up with tears. Shane reached across the seat, pulled
her to him and put his arm around her.
With tears flooding her eyes, she began, “I think of them all
the time. It’s like my heart was torn out every day. You don’t know
how hard it is.”


“Gidmark has spent years living among the Algonquin people of northern Quebec. His debut novel is a testament to his deep respect and passion for their culture . . . . Richly describing traditional skills and knowledge, . . . [it is] a helpful introduction for readers unaware of the long history of Canada’s oppression of First Nations people.” —Publishers Weekly

“In Speak to Me in Indian, David Gidmark weaves a haunting love story between Shane Bearskin, a Cree man from James Bay, and Theresa Wawati, a young Algonquin woman from Northern Quebec. … Gidmark’s story is a simple, yet devastatingly beautiful, account of human life which emphasizes the everyday importance of heritage and pride.” — Life in Quebec

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