As a child, Askik Mercredi, a Métis, attends the French-Canadian Catholic school in St. Boniface—an education that conflicts with the Native ways and beliefs that shape his home life. Later, in the world of colonial Montreal, where he hopes to fulfill his dream of becoming “a great man,” he finds he is not welcomed by the white society he wishes to embrace. Out of place on the prairies and in the city, treated as an alien in both Native and francophone communities, severed from his own Métis culture—Askik seems destined to lead a solitary, meandering life, unattached to any community. But events on the prairies are leading to the Riel “Rebellion,” and a series of coincidences result in a parallel upheaval in Askik’s private history. “Tchipayuk” is a Cree word meaning “a soul condemned to wander the earth until its memory is honoured.”
Short-listed 1994 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation
Ronald Lavallée is a Franco-Manitoban born in St. Boniface. He has worked at Radio Canada in Vancouver as the western correspondant for Le Point, a public affairs television program. He currently is a reorter for CBC Radio in Montreal. Tchipayuk (1994) was first published by Albin Michel in France. It is the winner of the Prix Jules Verne, was named book of the month by France-Loisirs, and won the Prix Champlain (Canada) and the Prix Riel (Manitoba).
Patricia Claxton is one of Canada’s most respected French-to-English translators, who has translated more than 20 books and countless articles, essays, short stories and poems. She is perhaps most well known for her connection with Gabrielle Roy. Her translation of Ronald Lavallée’s Tchipayuk: Or, The Way of the Wolf is available from Talonbooks.