Walter Hildebrandt

Blackfoot Country

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In this requiem to Narcisse Blood, Hildebrandt writes a history or “istorin” (as a verb not noun from the Greek) in the sense of American poet Charles Olsen “to look”, “to find out” the story of Blackfoot Country. As told to him by Narcisse Blood the story is grounded in place or geography and then rises up in his docu-poem to allow us to see the intricate and elaborate life of the Blackfoot people who were on the Great Plains, as Narcisse Blood tells, long before the pyramids of Egypt. The North American Great Plains were not empty spaces waiting to be occupied by Europeans as portrayed in a recent National Geographic documentary but were, as Rosalyn Lapier states in her introduction, a place where the Blackfoot people established a rich and enduring way of life. The stories, as Narcisse Blood said, “arise from the land” and we have much to learn from this history ranging from the buffalo hunt, fur trade, acquisition of the horse and the gun, epidemics, the buffalo robe trade, treaties and reserve life.

Historian and poet Walter Hildebrandt was born in Brooks, Alberta and now lives in Edmonton. He was the Director of University of Calgary Press and Athabasca University Press. He has worked as a historian for Parks Canada and as a consultant to the Treaty 7 Tribal Council, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the Banff Bow Valley Task Force. He was awarded the Gustavus Meyers Award 1997, for outstanding work on human rights in North America, for his book The Spirit and Intent of Treaty 7. His long poem Sightings was nominated for the McNally-Robinson Book of the Year in Manitoba in 1992. A previous volume of poetry, Where the Land Gets Broken, received the Stephan G. Stephanson for best poetry book in Alberta in 2005. This is his tenth book of poetry.

ISBN 978-1-77171-213-2
184 pages
8 x 8
Now available

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