Canadian Children's Book Centre's Reviews > The Secret of Your Name: Proud to Be Métis

The Secret of Your Name by David Bouchard
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Reviewed by Mary Anne Cree

In the forward to this story, David Bouchard speaks of Canada’s Métis, “the only mixed blood people in the world recognized… as being a nation.” He has discovered that his grandmothers were Anishnaabe, Chippewa, Menominee and Innu and is proud to call himself Métis. His story, again told in four-line stanzas, is part memory, part regret, part hope for the future of their traditional stories, songs and ways of living. “The secret of your name is out / I finally know my heritage / It has taken almost fifty years / To come to learn of you.” He vows to remember and honour his Métis heritage. There is also a brief history of the Métis nation and descriptions of the different First Nations people. The text is bilingual again, in English (or French) and Michif, the Métis language.

A talented Métis artist, Dennis Weber’s paintings extend the text by imagining the past — the events and people of the different First Nations groups who are the author’s ancestors. They are done in muted tones, soft and flat and conveying an intimacy among land, people and reader.

The book includes a CD with a reading of the story in English by Bouchard and in Michif by Norman Fleury. Bouchard also plays the flute and there is lively fiddle music by John Arcand.

Canadian Children's Book News (Fall 2010, Vol. 33, No. 4)
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