Sunday, December 6, 2015

December - and still smiling

It's December and I am still smiling.

I have qualified for Super Elite Status yet again this year. What that means is that I've boarded an Air Canada flight 95 times in the past year - either that or I have flown 100,000 miles. Either way, I've been out there and it's been good.

Yesterday, I spoke to the administrators of Grand Erie. The GREAT Conference was held in the beautiful community of Niagara on the Lake - an ideal venue that speaks to the value the district places on these dedicated professionals. I hooked up with old friends and made several new ones. I'll be back in Grand Erie in the winter months and again in the spring. Smiling.

I have one last event this December. This coming Friday, I will speak to the students of Abbeydale Elementary in Calgary and in the afternoon, I'll work with the staffs of three of Calgary's Area Three schools. That's probably enough...

Merry Christmas to all...from my family and Santa (sometimes known around Victoria as David Manson).

Friday, October 30, 2015

October and what a fall!

It is still October - for two more days. I am rushing to get this in so that I can say I blogged in October. I am embarrassed that I've not been more diligent it keeping up my BLOG but, dear friend, check out my calendar and you'll know why I have seemed - otherwise occupied: http://davidbouchard.com/speaking/calendar

There was a time when I insisted that my agent Chris get me home every five days, but the reason for that insistence is now 17 years old and cares somewhat less whether her dad kisses her good night or not. So I travel a little more in season. Summer and Xmas still provides me/us with the most amazing family time imaginable.

This fall has been the busiest fall since Chris and I began working together 16 years ago. Much has happened. I have three new books; The Great Law, The First Flute and The Song Within my Heart. Canada has a new government that has committed itself to better understand and communicate with Aboriginal people. Truth and Reconciliation has already affected my world as a touring
Aboriginal expert in literacy. The next decade could/should prove to be an opportunity not yet seen in Canada - for we First Nation, Metis and Inuit people.

I have a new book ready to go to print. Reading Red edited by Suzanne Keeptwo will make an impact. Things are soon going to change for Aboriginal people and I will be there on the front line. Very exciting!

That's it for October. I am off to pack for an exciting November. Off to Ottawa, Guelph, Calgary...

It is my sincere hope that you, dear reader, are as happy and healthy as I am today.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

September 2015

September...and that means school 

For a touring educator/author whose mission is to share the love of and the need for reading, September is the starting gate.

For me, it was late August at which time I flew Bearskin Air from Thunder Bay to Fort Frances where I was invited to work with one of Canada's most exciting educational initiatives, Seven Generations Education Insitute. (http://www.7generations.org/)

Tuesday, I head back to Ontario.

I will be spending the better part of two weeks working in and around Six Nations. I will endeavour to post a few pics as Ontario is most beautiful at this time of the year (as our our youth who look to the school year with dreams and anticipation).

On September 20th, along with Neil Pasricha, Sheree Fitch, and Werner Zimmermann, I will be part of the class of Canadian festivals, Telling Tales that takes place annually at Westfield Heritage Village in Rockton, Ontario.

From there, I'll be...ah...that's enough of a review and an overvies. I'd best stop with this and wish everyone involved with education and/or our youth a great year.

2015 is and will be one of the best ever!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Summer 2015

Summer of 2015

2015 has been amazing - as I knew it would be.

My spring and early summer tours were packed with new and exciting friends and challenges. I traveled tens of thousands of miles setting the scene for a July and August at home in our garden. And that is amazing!

Describing the beauty and comfort of any garden is difficult to do in words so let me add a single picture. In the background, our McClure heritage home. In the foreground, our rose garden. In the far right...middle...our gargoyle Geoffrey. Hidden in the far back right, my shack.

I took a few days in early July and headed home to Saskatchewan for Back to Batoche days. Funny thing that, though I am Metis, my family had few links that I know of with Batoche.

I was born in Quill Lake, Sask. as our hamlet of St. Front has no hospital. My late father's family moved there from Lac St. Jean in northern Quebec (...they were of Innu bloodlines). My late mother's people (...of Ojibwa and Osage bloodlines) were from South Dakota and before that, Bay Settlement, Wisconsin. They moved up to Saskatchewan and settled in Bronco then in Ponteix.

No, we have no real attachment to Batoche and yet, the spirit of the Metis people gathered there welcoming all Metis people was wonderful. There is nothing like a Metis gathering.

So here I sit, in my shack on a beautiful ...whatever day... blogging, touching up my new website (...that should go live this coming week) and working on upcoming books.

First in line is a book on reading. A decade ago, I wrote The Gift of Reading and followed that up with For the Love of Reading.  This new book will also focus on reading but with an Aboriginal focus. Kokum, I can Read is being published by Goodminds of Brantford and edited by the tremendously talented Suzanne Keeptwo.

I am also putting the finishing touches on Proud to be Metis. This is a second book with Metis friend and artist Denis Weber. The book is being designed by Denis' wife Sharon who is herself an amazing artist. My friends at Red Deer Press hope to release this book in the spring.

In Proud to be Metis, Denis has done portraits of a dozen Metis people (...one is actually not Metis but is the Grandmother of a long line of important Manitoba Metis of her Scottish roots).

Much like my earlier book, The Journal of Etienne Mercier, I have written this book in Franglais - French and English combined with Michif words (as per the Gabriel Dumont's dictionary) highlighted throughout.

As I did in the Journal of Etienne Mercier, I have included music...songs that are a big part of our Metis culture. I have had fun manipulating the text in these... Geoff Edwards, my friend and partner in several books, will again work his magic in helping us create a book of poetry, art, culture and music... The book will include a download for readers to hear me read and sing it. I will use my flutes to enhance the reading. We are hoping to feature one of the songs of Metis singer Ray St. Germain. Go ahead, give it a whirl. Here is page one. Keep in mind that poetry should always be read aloud. The song at the end of this page is the classic Au Clair de la Lune -

Oh...do you care to test your Metis history? Go ahead and give it a whirl...knowing that my Grandfather is showing  right below Louis... And the gray haired fellow behind Gabriel is Pierre Falcon.

I had better go make some cucumber sandwiches. The Jays take the field shortly in Seattle and are very much in need of my full attention and support. They are still in the running -  God Bless...


Monday, May 18, 2015


The Inuit communities of Northern Labrador

Mid May and I am home for another pit stop. I'm just back from... Northern Ontario, Toronto, Banff and a week in Labrador (thank you Wendy Marsh).

A picture tells a thousand words...so here is my novel: Nain and Hopedale - a week not to be forgotten...

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Une Entrevue avec TFO

Ma visite au nord de l'Ontario... (merci Jo-Anne et Nicole)

Lors de ma visite au nord de l'Ontario (Sudbury, Longlac...), TFO a produit le suivant. Merci les hommes pour votre beau travail.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spring has arrived

Spring has arrived ...and I'm still headed to Nain.

I have been on the road more this winter than any year since I began touring 16 years ago.

Yes, my girls and I did the Salon du Livre again in Paris (our 12th consecutive year). I had been touring heavily prior to Paris and things didn't slow down when we got home. My calendar tells the story as does the smile on my face. I have travelled tens of thousands of miles and made thousands of new friends.

The month of May will be more of the same...planes, hotels and new friends. I am stoked.

The only glitch in my winter was my trip to Nain. I was snowed out. Normally, I'm snowed in but in this case, I wasn't able to get into Labrador. I flew to Toronto and as I was about to board for Halifax, was told that snow storms would not permit my getting in. We re-scheduled my tour for the beginning of May. I will soon be posting pictures and stories from the beautiful communities of Nain and Hopedale.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Headed to Nain

I am headed to Nain and soooo looking forward to this trip...

If you've not heard of Nain, it's worth a Google. The vast majority of the people there are Inuit and the community is as reflective of their culture as you might expect. Yes, I will post pictures.

Our garden in Victoria is inundated with crocuses and snow drops as I pack my flutes, books and bags and regret not having kept my long johns from my life in Saskatchewan (If you're not from the Prairie). And no, I don't resent leaving this beautiful weather in Canada's most gentle city. I am going to Nain!

The last time I visited northern Labrador was when I was invited to work with the Innu, my Grandmother's people. It was an amazing trip.

In the picture on the right, I'm standing with my host Barb in front of our hotel in Natuashish. I know it doesn't look all that special but hey...it has a dining room (shown here).

Tomorrow, I fly from Victoria to Vancouver and on to Toronto. Sunday, I will fly from Toronto to Halifax, Halifax to Goose Bay and from Goose Bay, I have a 300 km flight north to Nain.

Ours will be a smaller plane likely jam packed with supplies. We few passengers will take up the balance of the space. There is no service or bathroom on board.

In our day and age, true adventure is becoming harder and harder to find. Don't get me wrong, I love working in Paris, London, India and China but tomorrow...tomorrow, I am headed to Nain!!!


Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 - my best year ever

My best year ever: 2015

This is going to be my best year ever. Have you ever felt something in your bones and just knew it was going to be? Well, this is that feeling and this is the year.

It's started off perfectly. I am in great health. My family is healthy and happy. Those in and around me are all good - to the exception of Olivia, a beautiful student at the DBPS in Oshawa, who was taken from us. Cancer can and will be beaten. Until then, so many continue to be hurt. My good friend and web designer, Michael Waters, is also in a battle with cancer. This is a battle he will win. I'll keep you informed.

I spent last week in Edmonton, one of my favourite cities in Canada. For those of you who have not been, be sure to spend some time on Whyte Ave. I'm not kidding, it is the funkiest street in our country. I feel hip/cool just walking down that street - in fact, I think I walk differently on Whyte than I normally do.

I spoke to...thousands while there. Here is a shot of T.D. Baker, one of those amazing groups of kids I presented to on this tour.

I'm packed and ready to head to Ontario tomorrow. I'll come home for one week and then bundle up for a week in Northern Labrador, Nain and Hopedale. I am sooooo excited.

Enough. I will post pics - I promise.

Until then, join me in making 2015 a magical year (and not only the year my friend/agent Chris Patrick turned 60).

Group hug


Friday, January 2, 2015


2015 - and this is good 

There were highlights in 2014 as there are every year, however, in many ways, 2015 couldn't have come soon enough.

In spite of looking forward to this new year, I don't take anything in life for granted - and that includes 2014 and the opportunities that this year offered my family and me.

We were blessed with an invitation to China. This wasn't our first invitation but it is the first that we accepted.

We spent our spring break at the Salon du Livre in Paris (...our tenth consecutive year).

We celebrated Victoria's 16th birthday in London and in Yorkshire.

And I went back to Paris for the Festival des Ameriques in September.

How anyone could complain after this kind of calendar year is almost inconceivable.

There were great trips and there were books, of course. There are always books in my life.

We launched our new book, The Great Law, in Mohawk territory.

Goodminds Books in Brantford hosted an event that saw a good number of friends and family gather for the celebration.

Ray Skye and I are grateful to Jeff Burnham and his staff for this and for all they do for our Aboriginal communities.

Even with this beautiful book, four overseas trips and dozens of great venues in Canada, the real highlight for me was the opening of the David Bouchard Public School in Oshawa.

Alison, Lauren, Tammy and staff and the entire Oshawa community honoured me by linking me forever to their kids, parents and professionals.

I could write for hours about how the school came to be, who it serves, the dedicated professionals and volunteers who make it tick...and the 650 kids that mean so much to all of us.

...However, I'd not be able to touch on the magic. So here are a couple of pictures and a link...