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J. Edward Chamberlin

20 September 2016 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

The author and academic J. Edward Chamberlin discusses his new book, The Banker and the Blackfoot: A Memoir of Grandfather in Chinook Country (Knopf, 2016), with Joseph Planta.

The Banker and the Blackfoot: A Memoir of My Grandfather in Chinook Country by J. Edward Chamberlin (Knopf, 2016).

Click to buy this book from Amazon.ca: The Banker and the Blackfoot

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver, at TheCommentary.ca.

A new memoir has just been published from the distinguished author and academic, J. Edward Chamberlin. The Banker and the Blackfoot: A Memoir of My Grandfather in Chinook Country is about the time at the end of the 19th and the turn of the 20th Century, in what would come to be known as Alberta, where his grandfather, Jack, and Crop Eared Wolf, meet and develop a remarkable friendship. I just started it, and it gives us insight into this almost-unknown place and unpredictable time. We learn of the motivations that bring Jack to this part of the world, and the struggles faced by the Blackfoot as they exercise their sovereignty, and see the First Nations treaties broken. We go to the Fort Macleod of 1885 to 1905, and get a sense of the promise and reality of the era. I’ll get Mr. Chamberlin who joins me now, to tell us as much as he likes about this book, these men, the people around them, their stories. What this book also illuminates is what’s possible in Canada. J. Edward Chamberlin’s previous books include The Harrowing of Eden: White Attitudes Towards Native Americans; Come Back to Me My Language, and Horse. His book If This is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories, was a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize, and the Pearson Writers’ Trust Award. He is professor emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and lives in Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia. He joins from here in Vancouver. This new book is published by Knopf. Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Ted Chamberlin; Professor Chamberlin, good morning.