Fort Good Hope artist Antoine Mountain releases his second book next month, a collection based on the medicine wheel and Indigenous spirituality, history, and social conditions.
Child of Morning Star: Embers of an Ancient Dawn features short stories and poetry, an approach that Mountain says differentiates this book from his first.
Currently completing his PhD at the University of Trent in Peterborough, Ontario, Mountain says his academic focus played a major role in the writing of the book. He hopes to see it used as an academic tool in the future.
“I worked with the youth for quite a number of years, and this book was published with publishers in Calgary,” he told Cabin Radio.
“In the Alberta system, the education system is connected to the publishing world and publishers can recommend to the education system what they think should be used as a text.”
Mountain was born in Fort Good Hope in 1949. His first book – From Bear Rock: The Life and Times of a Dene Residential School Survivor – tells the story of his experiences growing up in the residential school system. The memoir is now a required text in some courses, he said, including a literature course at Aurora College.
“That was my main goal with book two, to make it educational and to be able to use it as a tool to teach people about Indigenous stories,” said Mountain.
“Everyone can find themselves somewhere in a story, so I’m pretty sure it will have universal appeal.”
More: Five books that shaped Antoine Mountain’s life
Mountain says the collection will be “easier” to read than the first, something he found even while writing it.
“The first one was very complicated. The difficult part was remembering all the residential school experiences,” he said.
“With the second one, it’s about sharing stories, and sharing the teachings of the medicine wheel in a more intricate way.”
Child of Morning Star will be released on November 1 with a book launch at the Yellowknife Book Cellar.