IT IS 1872 ON THE CANADIAN PRAIRIES—thirteen years before the North-West Rebellion. Young Poundmaker’s life is turned upside down when Crowfoot requests to adopt him as his son. Poundmaker is Cree and Crowfoot is chief of the Blackfoot Confederacy. This adoption marks the end of a bitter war between their people and is part of Crowfoot’s plan to bring peace to the prairies.
But as Poundmaker settles into his new life, he discovers there is far more at stake. The buffalo are disappearing and everything is changing—food is becoming scarce and the people are under pressure to give up their way of life and accept reserves. The settlers have promised to teach them and support them as they learn this new way of living—but are they trustworthy?
As the tensions and violence of the North-West Rebellion threaten to pull them in, Poundmaker must fend off farming disasters, smallpox outbreaks, simmering violence, stubborn misunderstandings, and deliberate opposition, and through it all he must lead wisely and find a way to keep his people safe.
Rereleased in this new edition to celebrate the exoneration of Poundmaker and the apology issued by the government of Canada, Norma Sluman tells the story of one of Canada’s most famous Cree leaders. With accuracy and empathy she gives her readers a deep look into the life of a man whom history branded a dangerous traitor and rebel but who did everything he could to ensure peace and safety for his people.