120 pages: $19.95
In Seawi, internationally acclaimed Huron-Wyandot essayist, scholar and artist, Georges Sioui, uses his multi-lingual poetry to tell the story not only of his own Native Canadian people, but of all the First Peoples of the Americas. This work—which includes poems and sections in English, French, Spanish, Portugese and Huron-Wendat—speaks of genocides and immense human tragedies yet unacknowledged in official histories. Sioui writes for fellow-humans, children, animals and other-than-human beings—towards all life. Seawi, which in Huron means Rising Sun, carries a message of humanity and hope as deep, alive and strong as the roots of the First American civilization itself. And then, there is a love story of the author and his Colombian life-companion Bárbara, the union of South and North, the American Circle made complete.
This book, sometimes deceptively simple, other times a sharp punch, is gorgeous. Georges Sioui is a national treasure.
Georges Sioui is a poet’s son. His mother Eleonore, one of Native Canada’s most important poets is remembered in some of his poems: “From the stream of her truth/ She may use French, English, Spanish,/A few words of Huron;/The tongue is only the cup,/It is the soul that quenches/ Your thirst for knowing…” And her influence on his writing is visible–both in his commitment to indigenous truth and in his equal facility in English and French. But this accomplished, moving, multi-lingual book of poetry is more than just an acknowledgement of his mother’s gift. It is the mature expression of a Native writer’s spirit. It is a book that you will want to read again and again, words that touch the earth. His carefully crafted words flow like a northern stream heading for the sea.
George writes for the marginalized, for the blessed land and for his loved ones. His voice is an aching passion of courage and a plea for understanding and acceptance. His voice is what this society needs at this time.
—Louise B. Halfe
Georges Sioui, my tribal brother, my friend; your words bring succulence into my dry bones.
Polyglot, poet, essayist, song-writer and a world-renowned speaker, Georges Sioui became, in 1991, the first Canadian Amerindian to receive a Doctoral Degree in History. He has held numerous academic positions and, with his four brothers, initiated and directed the celebrated Sioui Case (Supreme Court of Canada, 1990). He is Full Professor of Aboriginal Studies, History and Religious Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada.
He is the author of three landmark books: Pour une histoire amérindienne de l’Amérique. Essai sur les fondements d’une morale sociale (Laval University Press, 1989), translated as For An Amerindian Autohistory (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1992); Les Wendats: Une civilisation méconnue (Laval University Press, 1994) translated as Huron Wendat: The Heritage of the Circle (University of British Columbia and Michigan State University Presses, 1999, short-listed for Governor General’s Award); and Histories of Kanatha / Histoires de Kanatha (University of Ottawa Press, 2009.)