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Towards a Prairie Atonement

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Towards a Prairie Atonement addresses the question of our relationship with the land by enlisting the help of a Metis Elder and revisiting the history of one corner of the Great Plains.

This book's lyrical blend of personal narrative, prairie history, imagery, and argument begins with the cause of protecting native grasslands on community pastures. As the narrative unfolds,
Hardcover, 110 pages
Published November 5th 2016 by University of Regina Press
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Ashleigh Mattern
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it
The history of the prairies is complicated. In Towards a Prairie Atonement, Trevor Herriot delves into the weeds of this landscape's story, asking whether the destruction of its natural state could have been avoided -- whether there might have been another way forward. He argues there was, and there still is: A system based on the Metis commonwealth. A way that combines European and Indigenous practices. Land that is both public and private. The Canadian government accidentally stumbled upon thi ...more
Ted Hillary
Jan 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Too "What if" . The past cannot be changed though lessons can be learned for the present.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book is an elegant mixture of history, politics, and a passion for preserving the prairie ecosystem.

The curious title is illumined in his discussion of our collective inability or unwillingness to see the failure of our current worldview and our need for atonement: “Colonialism, we have learned too late, is an utterly unreliable narrator. The work of decolonizing, of atonement, begins with the act of recognizing and honouring what was and is native but has been evicted from the land – nativ
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is essentially a reflection on the author's experience with Norman Fleury in Ste. Madeleine and his forthcoming ideas on land claims and Indigenous/Settler relations.

I do not feel I can morally critique someone else's personal thoughts and experiences especially on a subject so delicate as land rights and reconciliation.

However, for the purpose of formulating my stream of consciousness in words, I can write a reflection on my experience reading this book, rather than writing my opinio
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a brief mediation on the endangered prairies, and the choices which led to their present condition. The middle portion of the book is dedicated to preserving the oral tradition of the Michif people. The prescriptions for how to remedy the treatment of the land are philosophical instead of practical - which is the only reasonable approach in a book of this length. Until reading “Prairie Atonement”, I had never thought about the land itself as a victim of greed and prejudice. And I’d never ...more
Ciara McIlwaine
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a lovely book of history that reads like a story. It is a great start to provide some context that could lead to a conversation about where to go from here.
Nov 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This little book of 150 pages packs a big punch. This time Herriot examines the history of the Metis on the Canadian prairies and the appallingly way they were treated by the powers of the time. The author proposes that their approach to land ownership/stewardship was superior to the that of the conquering culture and we would be well advised to revisit some of their ideas when it comes to the protection of public lands today. Highly recommended for nature lovers, history buffs and social justic ...more
Andrew Reeves
Nov 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful book that explores the complex relationship between settlers and the land they occupy, beautifully told by Herriot a he seeks to find his own way of coming to terms with living in a place taken from indigenous peoples.
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World Literature Today
This book was featured in the Nota Benes section of the May 2017 issue of World Literature Today Magazine.
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