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Métis author shares personal story with students

Thursday May 26, 2011
Justina Carpenter/Wawatay News
Author Beatrice Mosionier, centre, was in Sioux Lookout May 16 during Queen Elizabeth High School’s Native Celebrations Week May 16-20. Mosionier is the author of In Search of April Raintree, a novel commonly used as a teaching text in high schools across Canada.

Métis author Beatrice Mosionier visited students at Queen Elizabeth High School May 16 during Native Celebrations Week.

Mosionier was born in St. Boniface, Man., in 1949, being the youngest of four children. Mosionier said she and her siblings were all taken by Children’s Aid and separated into different homes due to her parent’s alcoholism. She said both her sisters committed suicide and a brother went to jail.

She feels most First Nations people that go to jail is the result of alcohol and drug related crimes.

“Alcohol and drugs make you lose control of who you really are,” she said.

In grade 5, Mosionier was ashamed of being Native because she encountered a lot of racism growing up.

She said she never intended to be a writer until she met an editor who asked her to submit a short story.

Moisonier is best known for her book In Search of April Raintree. The events and characters in the story relate to her life growing up. She described herself as a risk-taker, humorous and lazy; but she says lazy people are inventive.

Beatrice encouraged students to become leaders.

“You should becomes leaders of the future – we need them. Give hope to children of the future,” she said.

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