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September 2015 Vol. 53 No. 1

University of Manitoba Press

The following review appeared in the September 2015 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Social & Behavioral Sciences
History, Geography & Area Studies - North America

Can. CIP
Freeman, Mini Aodla. Life among the Qallunaat, ed. by Keavy Martin and Julie Rack with Norma Dunning. University of Manitoba, 2015. 277p bibl (First voices, first texts, 3) ISBN 9780887557750 pbk, $24.95; ISBN 9780887554902 ebook, contact publisher for price.

The "First Voices, First Texts" series publishes lost or underappreciated texts by Indigenous writers.  As a critical edition of Mini Aodla Freeman’s memoir, including revisions based on the original typescript, an interview with the author, and a scholarly afterword, the present title is a welcome addition, even for collections that may already have the 1978 edition (Hurtig Publishers).  Although not lengthy, the interview with Freeman that opens this edition is a valuable addition.  The interview provides insight into the author’s original experiences of writing and publishing as an Indigenous former Canadian government employee of the Department of Northern Affairs and Natural Resources, and is enlightening in terms of the 1960s–1970s environment in which aspiring Indigenous writers operated.  This was an era in which contemporary Indigenous voices were first really acknowledged in the mainstream Canadian publishing world.  But as Freeman explains, a significant proportion of her original text was cut or heavily edited.  This new edition revisits parts of the original manuscript that previously never made it to print.  The Inuit word qallunaat variously refers to “southerners,” “white people,” or “English speakers.”  The absence of an index is an unfortunate omission.

--B. F. R. Edwards, First Nations University of Canada

Summing Up: Recommended. All academic levels/libraries.