Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age

City of Victoria Butler Book Prize
About this Work 

Mamaskatch—a Cree word used as a response to dreams shared—is a series of linked, story-like intervals that weave together Darrel and his family’s wounded lives. Their individual and collective traumas, the tragic flaws that shatter trust and dissolve relationships, the aching attempts to hold on to family and culture, the mysterious presence of birds and ancestral stories, all come together movingly in Darrel’s tender, haunting voice. Mamaskatch won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction.

Douglas & McIntyre
Jurors' Citation 

Sensitive and honest, this memoir shows us that forgiveness is possible, for ourselves, and for others. That, in no small part, is why this book is so satisfying, and why everyone in this country needs to read it. In spite of the pervasive brutality and sadness, the author’s warmth, wit, and intelligence ultimately make this an uplifting reading experience.

Darrel J. McLeod

Darrel J. McLeod is Cree from treaty eight territory in Northern Alberta. Before deciding to pursue writing in his retirement, he was a chief negotiator of land claims for the federal government and executive director of education and international affairs with the Assembly of First Nations. He holds degrees in French literature and education from the University of British Columbia. He lives in Sooke and is working on a second memoir following the events in Mamaskatch. In the spring of 2018, he was accepted into the Banff Writing Studio to advance his first work of fiction.