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Customer Review

on September 2, 2016
Like a lot of rare Canadian literature, I discovered <b>Frances Fraser's</b> important oeuvre in a second-hand shop. As an animal-sensitive person who winces at any whiff of a hunting reference, expected in Aboriginal lore of course, or scenes depicting unfairness; my four-star rating is high. There were a few stories about a mean "Old Man", who seemed to be one representation of an Aboriginal God, that I was glad to get over with. The balance were thought-provoking, well-told, and memorable. <b>Lewis Parker's</b> drawings evoke energetic, dreamlike character!

More deep than the fun of being entertained by a suite of cultural legends published before I was born and related orally long before that; I feel that "<b>The Bear Who Stole The Chinook And Other Stories</b>" is an important record. I have heard of the Blackfoot Indians, "Indian" being a word that was clearly okay to use in 1959 but <b>Frances</b> has introduced me to the Siksika. They appear to have a reservation in northern Alberta. <b>Frances</b> does not pinpoint where she is from but she and her family lived in a town near enough to the reservation, to befriend this distinct tribe and it seems, to speak their language!

My favourite part, as someone who is a keen linguist, was that this book taught Siksika words for many of the animals who were introduced in stories. I enjoyed trying out their challenging pronunciation, following apostrophes as accents. There are creation stories like the making of horses, marriage and parental legends, cautionary fables, weather and sky philosophies, and the best of all: a dose of ghost stories! I feel enriched by reading this historically specific collection, about a Canadian branch of people I have met for the first time. Being able to ask God to return departed loved-ones was a touching storyline.
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