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Cabin Book Club: Five books that shaped Antoine Mountain’s life

Antoine Mountain seen in front of his mural of a moosehide boat
Antoine Mountain seen in front of his mural of a moosehide boat. Photo: Supplied

Cabin Radio this week launches a new podcast series, Cabin Book Club, supported by the NWT Literacy Council. Each episode explores a northerner’s life through five books that shaped it.

In the week of the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, Cabin Book Club’s first episode features five books chosen by Antoine Mountain, an accomplished academic and artist who survived the residential school system and is an NWT hall-of-fame cross-country skier.

Born in 1949 in Fort Good Hope, Mountain is himself an author. His book – From Bear Rock Mountain: The Life and Times of a Dene Residential School Survivor – was published in 2019 and won the NorthWords literary festival’s 2020 book award.

Mountain’s book chronicles his experiences in the residential school system and how art played a key role in his subsequent healing journey.



Listen to the episode: Antoine Mountain’s books

In this episode, Mountain joins host Ollie Williams to discuss these five books of his choice:

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown, a non-fiction book that documents the history of Indigenous peoples in the American West, including forced displacements, warfare, and American colonialism.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse by Peter Matthiessen, which details how American Indigenous activist Leonard Peltier was accused of the murder of two FBI agents. The book explores the American Indian Movement and the FBI’s attempts to suppress such movements.



Nina’s Book by Eugene Burdick, which describes a political concentration camp in France during World War Two and its lasting effects on the prisoners.

Dancing On Our Turtle’s Back by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, a book that explores reconciliation as the political, cultural, and spiritual resurgence of Indigenous peoples.

Research is Ceremony by Shawn Wilson, an exploration of Indigenous researchers and knowledge-keepers that examines how Indigenous research is carried out in Canada and Australia.

The new series’ format was piloted in 2015 in a show titled From the Top, in which Paul Andrew, the CBC broadcaster and former Tulita chief, selected five books. Six years later, the concept is back in a regular series. Expect a second episode in November.

Do you know an NWT resident or distinguished northerner whose life you’d like to explore through five books? Email the show to recommend them for a future episode.

Host: Ollie Williams
Production: Meaghan Brackenbury, Sarah Pruys