Sunday, December 11, 2016

My tattoo's name is Clément

Clément first came into my life with the release of my book, The Journal of Etienne Mercier. That was 20 years ago.

At that time, I didn't realize the impact he would have on my life nor did I realize the number of times he would appear in my writings (I am Raven, Raven's Greatest Creation, Beneath Raven Moon, Raven and Whale...).

Over the years, with the help of Elders and life's greatest teacher (living), I grew to understand that Creator has given me the same gift he gave Clément; the ability to use and to succeed on my wit.

Over time, I have learned to be grateful. I have learned to be grateful for the sacred medicines. And I have learned how to use them. For protection, I travel with Sweetgrass. I cleanse with Sage. I always have some form of Ceder with me. And I offer tobacco in prayer. I pray with tobacco and I pray through my flutes. I respect all our relations. 

And today, through this tattoo,  I acknowledge Clément's contribution in my life and in so doing, I honour him. 

Thank you Gordon Miller for the beautiful watercolour of Clément (...taken from the Jornnal of Etienne Mercier and showing above). Miigwetch to hyper-realistic tattoo artist Potter of Forever Young in Toronto for my half sleeve - his depiction of my friend, Clément.

The last line from my book The Journal of Etienne Mercier says it all. (I really should learn to read into the words I write)

"No matter. I will get food then I will come back and do what I should have done two year ago. I will make the picture of my frien Clément."

Monday, August 22, 2016

August means "back to school"

August means "back to school"! 

I never thought I'd be saying this at this stage of my life but here it is, "back to school"!

Isn't going back to school something we all dread? After high school, it was university. After university, it was back to school as a teachers and then as a principal. And now, I'm headed back as a touring author and as one who believes in the power of reading and in the rights of every youth.

My good friend and agent, Chris Patrick, is in Europe for a month. Prior to leaving, Chris  booked me for three full months. I'll be in Alberta, B.C., Manitoba and all over Ontario. And the truth is, I'm so looking forward to going back to school! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Seven Gens - Rainy River

A week in Rainy River -

Seven Gens is one of Aboriginal Canada's reasons to believe. http://www.7generations.org/

I am just home from a week in Rainy River working with Anna, Kim and Director Brent - working with students, staff and parents of four major reserves. Our goal was to inform these communities of the need to read as well as what it takes to become readers. Each of my listerners was gifted with a copy of my recent release, Voices from the Wild. Some of these kids own three books and only three books, all three books that, over the past six years, Seven Gens put into their hands.

Windigo Island is the hardest of the reserves to access however with Lake of the Woods frozen over... This picture tells the story.

I am home fulfilled and hopeful after a good week on Windigo Island, in Big Grassy, Lac La Croix, Onigaming and Seven Gens High School in Fort Frances and in Canada's first secure custody facility for Aboriginal Youth, GE-DA-GI-BINEZ Youth Centre.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Electronic books

Electronic Books - are they for me? 

If I have learned anything over the past few decades, it's to expect the unexpected.

When eBooks first hit the market, I said/believed that they had a place in the world of novels and short stories. I had trouble visualizing them in the world for picture books or children's books. Add sound/music to the total picture and I had serious doubts.

Then I met Steve at Crow Cottage. I saw, first hand, the beauty of picture books on an electronic screen. When he suggested that we could add sound, I was only too happy to let him try one of my titles.

Crow Cottage published I am Raven. The response we received from the iStore was amazing. Andy's art is second to none. Geoff's work with the sound track is magical. I was - I AM thrilled. Thus, we did a second book - Beneath Raven Moon.

Check out Steve's website showing here and the possibilities of the electronic media for all books, even those like mine that are so multi-sensory.


Monday, January 11, 2016


It is 2016 and as with every new year, comes new promise. 

Already on the up side: Leonardo, in accepting his Golden Globe for Best Actor in The Revenant, has made fans and friends with all Indigenous people in North America. What a gifted, insightful and good person he has proven to be.

On the down side: David Bowie died of cancer yesterday at the age of 69. There isn't a family who has not felt the pain of that terrible disease...and now, our world music family mourns.

As for me, I am gearing up for an exciting year in which I hope to share learnings, make new friends and grow as a person. I have two or three books in the making; Reading Red, Proud to be Métis and The Journal of Etienne Mercier...  And I am involved in several exciting projects with Rubicon...books/series that should support and serve indigenous people.

I hope to meet many of you this year, new and old friends. I wish you health and happiness - you and your loved ones. I am thinking nothing but positive thoughts for our new governments...and for those of our American neighbours. Good luck - Bonne chance! A bientot!

My agent Chris Patrick's job is to put me in touch with the right people. His job is to help me spread hope and teach the learnings that will allow our youth to tackle the world we have saddled them with.

This morning, Chris sent out the following letter. If your board or school community is looking for hope and/or direction, please give Chris a call. He is open and accommodating and has been responsible for many successes in my work.

Dear BC Education First Nations Workers:

It is so very exciting and appropriate that BC Ministry of Education has put such a strong focus on First Nations issues in the professional development mandate.

So long overdue.

I have the honour of working with David Bouchard, Canada’s renowned Métis author and champion for literacy at all levels.

With this new focus comes one notable and significant shift: The importance of aboriginal learning.
David Bouchard is Canada’s  best-selling Aboriginal author and is a notable and recognized expert in reading.  In his upcoming, new book, Reading Red, A Métis Story for and about Aboriginal Readers, readers and their potential role models come to understand why it is imperative we all become readers. They come to understand what they have to do to become readers and the benefits of doing so.
David reaches out to Métis, Inuit and First Nation Elders, parents, educators, students, and youth as well as all who have a vested interest in First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children. In Reading Red: A Métis Story for and about Aboriginal Readers, he offers strategies that community members, parents, and educators can use to guide their youth toward becoming lifelong readers.
Surely, some have questioned why B.C. schools would focus on aboriginal culture and not that of other ethnic groups.  “The knowledge, the literature and the language from where other people in the province have come from still exists, still grows and still flourishes in other parts of the world,” said Jo-Anne Chrona, curriculum coordinator for the First Nations Education Steering Committee. “This is the only place in the world that holds this knowledge. ... If it’s not taught and learned here, it will not be taught anywhere else.”
David has a formidable list of books for readers of all ages, books in 13 Aboriginal languages.  His writings speak to culture, tradition and values of Canada’s Aboriginal people.  He has partnered with Canada’s very best visual artist and musicians.  His approach to reading and writing is his own. He has cut a new path that is sure to be followed by writers in years to come – a path for people whose cultures and styles of learning are special and unique. Through stories, flutes and life learnings, David Bouchard touches the lives of students, parents and educators in all matters that affect Aboriginal interests.
David presents to conferences, teachers, parents and students.  His presentations have earned him Nation-wide recognition and he has been awarded the Order for Canada for his contribution.
I invite you to learn more about David at his website (www.DavidBouchard.com) and encourage you to have David visit the teachers, parents and students of your district.
Please call me if you have any further questions.

Chris Patrick
More Than Words Books/MTW Publishers
823 Hendecourt Road
North Vancouver BC   V7K 2X5
Phone: 604-985-2527
Toll free: 866-786-4237