Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Halfbreed” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  339 ratings  ·  30 reviews
"I write this for all of you, to tell you what it is like to be a Halfbreed woman in our country. I want to tell you about the joys and sorrows, the oppressing poverty, the frustration and the dreams. . . . I am not bitter. I have passed that stage. I only want to say: this is what it was like, this is what it is still like."For Maria Campbell, a Métis ("Halfbreed") in Can ...more
Paperback, 157 pages
Published November 1st 1982 by University of Nebraska Press (first published January 28th 1973)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Halfbreed, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Halfbreed

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 605)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This is an unflinching look at the injustices faced by the Mètis people of Western Canada, and one woman's struggle to escape the traps of poverty within that context. It can be hard to read because Maria Campbell really faced one difficulty after another after another... I am in awe of the grit and determination she shows in not giving in to despair and in telling her story so honestly. Definitely a book to pass on to everyone you know – an education in Canadian racism against aboriginal people ...more
This book does the 'speaks volumes'. A book to be read in school as 'The Outsiders' and 'To Kill A Mockingbird' are. This book is non fiction mistaking that!
Written in (rather, published in..) 1973..the world has changed greatly..yet..not at all. Living in the Yukon Territory..all of the good, bad and indifferent in Maria Campbells book..still happen here.
In the 30 plus years that I have lived here..there is such a struggle to do right that each small accomplishment only happens with
Oct 01, 2008 Deodand rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: canadians
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Halfbreed" is brief in its pages, but heavy in its heart. It's an autobiography I can and will champion for its revelation of Canada's systemic racism against Indigenous peoples, both in the past and in the present.

Maria Campbell was born to a Métis family on the Canadian prairies and grew up believing she was a worthless "halfbreed," and one of those "road allowance" people squatting on crown land. As her family faced extreme poverty and hardship, they also struggled to be accepted by both no
Wow. Anyone who can read this book and not feel incredibly lucky themselves is either heartless and soulless or living a truly terrible life. In Half-Breed Maria Campbell, a Halfbreed who grew up in Saskatchewan, describes her childhood and early adulthood, living in poverty, dealing with racism and discrimination, trying to avoid the division of her family at the hands of the government, suffering abuse, turning to prostitution and drugs, and finally getting clean and finding hope in Native pol ...more
Half Breed is an unaffected memoir of a young female Metis, her childhood and coming of age in Canada, and encountering incredible hardships and seemingly impenetrable barriers. It briefly outlines Metis history and explains how and where they lived as “Road Allowance,” People; they were literally pushed to the boundaries of society where they settled along thirty-foot Crown owned portions of land that bordered either side of roads. Told in a simple direct voice, Campbell gives the reader insigh ...more
A really incredible story of strength, and an inclusive and welcoming look at Metis and Road Allowance histories. I appreciate that Campbell steers clear of sentimentality, and that she is honest about the terseness she was forced to take up as a survival tactic. I feel she gives a fair view of those groups (political and/or religious) affecting her story, and is true to her claim that she doesn't speak from a place of bitterness, but from a place where she sets out to speak about the way things ...more
Descriptive well written story. The miserable conditions all cultures lived in that era.
The rich got richer the poor, poorer. Only the strong willed survived and made changes all
Over the country for their brothers and sisters. Enjoyed the reminder of life, bittersweet.
Matthew McCarthy
Maria Campbell's Halfbreed is a simple, but heart-felt novel. Halfbreed is Campbell's memoir; an account of the struggles she had to overcome, such as racism, addiction, and misogyny, and her quest to find a way out.

Seeing as how I read Joy Kogawa's Obasan earlier this year, I feel it's hard not to draw comparisons between the two novels. While Obasan is a more poetic -- and in my opinion, better -- novel, both tell stories of overwhelming hardship and strengthh. A good read for anyone who belie
This book is short and simply written, but incredibly profound. As a Canadian, I firmly believe that every Canadian should read this novel. It tells the story of the author and about the Aboriginal experience. The book helped my understand Aboriginal issues and why they can't be fixed overnight and never by government policy makers. I strongly recommend this novel, because it portrays what feels like and old issue in a way I had never seen it before. Here's a link to my blog post on the novel.

Simply written but incredibly powerful.
Half Cree and half European, the author and her people (the halfbreeds) experienced considerable discrimination and hardship. The writing is choppy and the story telling is a bit incoherent at times, but the book communicates the frustration, hopelessness, and eventual determination of the author to survive. The ending left me wanting to know more. I wish she would write another autobiography, as this one ends with her as a 20-something in the late 1960's.
Really decent. The writing is colloquial and casual, but it suits the narrative and it's easy to follow. Very biographical, and remarkably radical and insightful considering all of the things the writer went through. Worth reading. People don't properly appreciate the legacy of colonialism that's rests on Canada. This isn't something we get to relegate to the dustbins of history, it's something that's still happening today.
Joy B.
This book will make your screan and wave your fits at history, politicians, anyone you can think of to blame for the horrific truth of our history. The story of the Metis must be heard and Maria Campbell adds such a telling tale of the human experience behind the segregation.
This book is a detailed and haunting account of Maria Campbell's childhood and early adulthood. It details the unfair policies of Canada's government towards the Metis people.
I found the ending to be rather abrupt, or else I would have given it five stars.
Taneeshia Grant
Sep 05, 2007 Taneeshia Grant rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every one
Shelves: oldreads
Maria Campbell retells her story of when she was a child and the struggles that her family experienced.I had the opportunity to learn about Metis women and how they were treated by the canadian government.
Joy Castillo
Read this in a Native American studies class. I loved everything we read in there. This one isn't particularly memorable, except I do remember it took place in Canada.
Quite a quick read but pretty good...the transitions between her life were kinda vague. Overall provided an interesting look at Maria's turbulent life.
This book was touching and an emotional ride. Maria exposes herself and opens up a snippet into her Metis life. It opened up my eyes, and my heart.
BOOK: Author sustained thru harsh life, drugs, alcoholism & led to pride in metis heritage by Cree great grandma's spirit
I really enjoyed this autobiography even though I felt sad and sometimes angry at what happened to Ms. Campbell.
Love, Love, Love Maria Campbell! Half-Breed was one of the books that I read more than once.
Chelle Alex
Read this in High School. I liked it and I actually still remember the story. :)
Nicola Campbell
love my auntie so much.
Her courage and her books are the reason I write.
A biracial poor girl struggles to find her way out of poverty. Memorable.
This is a very honest book and a very interesting autobiography.
Her life story as a 'halfbreed' in Canada, simply told.
Jocelyn Saskiw
This book is also awesome.
Eric added it
Mar 31, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 21 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
500 Great Books B...: Halfbreed - Maria Campbell 1 6 Jul 13, 2014 08:01PM  
  • Keeper'n Me
  • Stolen Life: Journey Of A Cree Woman
  • Kiss of the Fur Queen
  • I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism
  • Green Grass, Running Water
  • Monkey Beach
  • Crazy Brave: A Memoir
  • They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
  • Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life
  • The Ecstasy of Rita Joe
  • Louis Riel and Gabriel Dumont: A Penguin Lives Biography
  • Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
  • Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass
  • Wounds of Passion: A Writing Life
Maria Campbell (born 6 of 26 Apr 1940 near Athlone, Edmonton) is a Métis author, playwright, broadcaster, filmmaker, and Elder. Campbell is a fluent speaker of four languages: Cree, Michif, Saulteaux, and English. Park Valley is located 80 miles northwest of Prince Albert.

Her first book was the memoir Halfbreed (1973), which continues to be taught in schools across Canada, and which continues to i
More about Maria Campbell...
Stories Of The Road Allowance People People of the Buffalo: How the Plains Indians Lived Riel's people: How the Métis lived Achimoona Revolutionary Services and Civil Life

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »