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In My Own Moccasins : A Memoir of Resilience.
2019
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Summary
Helen Knott, a highly accomplished Indigenous woman, seems to have it all. But in her memoir, she offers a different perspective. In My Own Moccasins is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption. With gripping moments of withdrawal, times of spiritual awareness, and historical insights going back to the signing of Treaty 8 by her great-great grandfather, Chief Bigfoot, her journey exposes the legacy of colonialism, while reclaiming her spirit. " In My Own Moccasins never flinches. The story goes dark, and then darker. We live in an era where Indigenous women routinely go missing, our youth are killed and disposed of like trash, and the road to justice doesn't seem to run through the rez. Knott's journey is familiar, filled with the fallout of residential school, racial injustice, alcoholism, drugs, and despair. But she skillfully draws us along and opens up her life, her family, and her communities to show us a way forward. It's the best kind of memoir: clear-eyed, generous, and glorious....Bear witness to the emergence of one of the most powerful voices of her generation." -- Eden Robinson, author of Son of a Trickster and Monkey Beach (from the foreword) "Helen Knott speaks truth to the experience of Indigenous women living through the violence of colonized spaces and she does so with grace, beauty and a ferocity that makes me feel so proud." -- Leanne Betasamosake Simpson , author of This Accident of Being Lost "Helen writes beautifully and painfully, about her own life and the lives of many of our sisters. A strong, gentle voice removing the colonial blanket and exposing truth." -- Maria Campbell , author of Halfbreed "An incredible debut that documents how trauma and addiction can be turned into healing and love. I am in awe of Helen Knott and her courage. I am a fan for life. Wow." -- Richard Van Camp , author of The Lesser Blessed "Heartfelt, heartbreaking, triumphant and raw, In My Own Moccasins is a must-read for anyone who's ever felt lost in their life... Actually, it's a must-read for anyone who appreciates stories of struggle, redemption and healing. Knott's writing is confident, clear, powerful and inspiring." -- Jowita Bydlowska , author of Guy: A Novel and Drunk Mom "Powerful, filled with emotion." -- Carol Daniels, author of Bearskin Diary and Hiraeth "A beautiful rendering of how recovery for our peoples is inevitably about reconnecting with Indigenous identities, lands, cultural and healing practices." -- Kim Anderson , author of Reconstructing Native Womenhood
Trade Reviews
Booklist Review
My truth is all that I have. Truth is my offering, begins Knott's memoir of grappling with addiction, sexual assault, and her identity as an Indigenous woman. Writing with raw honesty and in prose that both lulls and jolts the reader, she interweaves stories of her addiction to drugs and alcohol and the abandonment of her child with visits to the United Nations and trips to build schools in Nicaragua. The pairing of such disparate events makes her and her complex story impossible to boil down or forget. Her exploration of her identity and discovery of new possibilities for her spirituality that embrace her heritage lead her on a path to recovery, self-forgiveness, and community. This powerful memoir proclaims healing a revolutionary act, and emotions a sign of strength. Knott's complex portrait evokes empathy for those struggling with addiction and opens a window into a story that makes space to tell abuse survivors they are not alone, it is not their fault, and she will remember them.--Alice Burton Copyright 2019 Booklist
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