Burnt Snow: My years living & working with the Dene of the Northwest Territories
By: Kieran Moore
ISBN: 978-0-88839-309-8 [trade paperback]
ISBN: 978-0-88839-265-7 [epub]
Binding: Trade Paper
Size: 8.5" X 5.5"
Kieran Moore is an Irish immigrant who, at the age of twenty, faced impending layoffs at his construction job in Winnipeg. He was frustrated at the instability and purposelessness of my life at the time and decided to head into the North West Territories in the hope of finding that purpose there. Shortly after arrival, he was asked to build a church in the Dene community of Rae Lakes in the northern boreal region of Canada.
That assignment led to his immersion in the world of the Dene throughout the 1970-1980s, the period covered in his book. It was at a time of dramatic change for Dene communities. He experienced both the richness of character of the people and shared in their traditional ways and also experienced the confusion and suffering the community underwent as the old ways came under threat from outside forces. The tradition of storytelling was an integral part of the Dene way and he learned a great deal by listening to their elders and working with them as they built structures, lived side by side and hunted together.
The stories he tells reflect his personal engagement with the Dene of the N.W.T. and they are told in the spirit of the storytelling tradition of the Dene and that of his Irish ancestors.
The author presently lives in Peterborough Ontario, still clinging to the past with good connections with his friends in the North, some of which make the long journey to do talks at Trent University and stop in for visits. He owns two incredibly large Huskies that take up a great part of his time. He has done guiding for Mahoosuc Guide, operating adventure trips in Chibougamau, Quebec. Trips such as week-long dog sled and canoe trips in the Quebec wilderness on Cree family trap-line.
“This is an amazing book about a young man who embraced the Dene culture in our spectacular True North in exploring, travel and working. A respectful collection of stories of my people’s lives in a time of great change”.
-- Charles Neyelle, Dene Spiritual leader and Elder of Deline, Northwest Territories.
““As a young man he set out to experience the hunter/gather culture of the Dene people before it disappeared and wise elders shared everything with him - their land and skills, legends and so much more-for a reason. They knew how to live in complete harmony with the environment. Something we in the south have lost, and now Mother Nature is screaming”.
-- Peter Blow, Documentary filmmaker (Village of Widows, The Barrens Quest)
“This is a work of historical significance to Canada. Moore records events during a period of rapid change in the Canadian north, a period of industrialization, devolution, the re-emergence of Indigenous self-government. This, of itself, qualifies the work as an historical document. I would suggest that this book will appeal to scholars and enthusiasts interested in the north; to hunters, fishers and wilderness travellers, to scholars of history, anthropology and public policy, and ultimately it will appeal to those who love a good story”.
-- David Young, former Manitoba economist and wildlife enthusiast
“I truly hope you get this book published. The world needs to see and read your book.”
-- Senator Nick Sibbeston, author of You Will Wear a White Shirt