Nakamowin Sa For The Seasons

Item Information
Item#: 9781771870559
Author Bouvier, Rita
Cover Paperback
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Rita Bouvier's third collection of poetry naḵamowin'sa for the seasons reflects her experiences as a both a Métis woman and guide to the history of relations with indigenous peoples and the thinking that gives rise to injustice and inequity in the world. Her poems often focus on the sacred relationship to the land and changing seasons that are central to the imaginative and creative thinking of the Cree, Dene, and Métis cultures of the prairies. Drawing on her upbringing in the Île-à-la-Crosse region - once a hub of the fur trade in the old Northwest Territories - Bouvier injects colour into her poetry through the use of Cree/Michif language, reminding readers of her cultural distinctiveness. As her ideas are revealed in the work, she exposes how much has changed as western ideals have seeped into indigenous culture and questions whether her people have lost their way.

Bouvier can be political as in "oh, how my MĂ©tis blood boils" when she calls for recognition of the individual spirit rather than reducing a group to a collective pronoun. She can also be reproachful when she pokes her dexterous fingers into the wounds left behind by history. Yet she attempts to bring forth healing and reconciliation through acknowledgement of past traumas and advocating forgiveness, joy, and thankfulness as the way forward.

Images of the natural world and a people often forgotten by history dominate the collection as Bouvier creates an awareness that Saskatchewan is a place rich not only in natural resources but also flush with history and stories that have made it distinctive.naḵamowin'safor the seasons reveals our fragile relationships to one another and to the natural world that sustains us.

Whether discussing the joys and trials of family life with poems such as "nigosis is sweet and sixteen" and "my grandmother's hands", offering her own take on history in "songs to sing" and "measured time", or exploring MĂ©tis identity in "I have something important to say" and "Indigenous Man 2", Bouvier captures the essence of a life that can be "joyful/one minute and then. agony". Yet she always encourages the reader to become caught in the movement and beauty of life - dance, breathe, listen and, of course, sing.

Short Description
Rita Bouvier's third collection of poetry is a response to the highs and lows of life and represents an attempt at restoring order through embracing others, reconciling the traumas caused by the deep scars of history, and soaring beyond life's awkward and painful moments in order to live joyfully. Inspired by the metaphor of a voyageur sustained by song on his journeys up and down the rivers of Northwest Saskatchewan, these "songs for the seasons" draw heavily on images from nature as well as the joys, heartaches and transgressions Bouvier has witnessed and experienced as a MĂ©tis woman. Using imagery strongly connected to the natural environment, Bouvier evokes earth's regeneration through the seasons as inspiration for moving forward.