Emma Minde's portraits of the family into which she was given in marriage are touching and instructive. They show us a young woman leaving her home at Saddle Lake, Alberta, to join a household of strangers at Hobbema -- with not only a husband she has yet to meet, but also four powerful adults who will shape her life: her husband's parents, Mary-Jane and Dan Minde, and Dan Minde's youngest brother Sam and his wife Mary. Emma Minde's autobiography focuses on her relationship with these two women, Mary-Jane Minde and Mary-Minde. The education that the newly arrived wife received in their households was built on obedience, hard work and a firmly held set of beliefs, seen as essential preparation for a life of uncertainty and rapid change, hardship and constant struggle. These reminiscences, told to Freda Ahenakew, offer rare insights into a life history guided by two powerful forces: the traditional world of the Plains Cree and the Catholic missions with their boarding-schools. Rarely has the interplay of these two world views -- often in conflict, but often also, it seems, very much in harmony with one another -- been sketched so eloquently as in Emma Minde's autobiography.
Emma Minde's stories are presented as she told them in Cree, with a translation into English on facing pages. With its Cree-English Glossary and an English Index to the Glossary, this work is an important Cree language resource.