I was so used to reading the lyrical finest of the previous writers that taking in Adam’s book – although very relevant – was hard. He is not a natural writer – his stylistic form is very dry and academic, and it makes the heavy hitting history re-telling unapproachable, unless this is your very specific field.
I don’t have much to add to this snagged review from Google, but I did find his viewpoint to be slightly defeatist and …wrong… as while a lot of what he states is relevant to his time, it’s also relevant to his identity as a Metis person in that time – the hiding of his identity to get ahead, the shame at being considered Indigenous – and that made it hard to relate to and connect with. Why does this matter? When I don’t agree with him, it makes me doubt his words. It makes him an untrustworthy narrator. What he is saying about government and racism in Canada isn’t wrong, at all, but with him now being in a place where he is blaming Canada for his choices of originally turning his back on his family because they were Metis – he just sets the wrong tone.
“Originally published in 1975, this important book is now back in print in a revised and updated edition. Since its first publication it has become a classic of revisionist history. Bringing a Native viewpoint to the settlement of the West, Howard Adam’s book shook its readers. What Native people had to say for themselves was quite different from the convenient picture of history that even the most sympathetic books by white authors had presented. Until Adams’s book, the cultural, historical, and psychological aspects of colonialism for Native people had not been explored in depth.
In Prison of Grass Adams objects to the popular historical notion that Natives were warring savages, without government, seeking to be civilized. He contrasts the official history found in the federal government’s documents with the unpublished history of the Indian and Métis people. In this new edition Howard Adams brings the latest statistics to bear on his arguments and provides a new Preface.” – Google Review
buy the book: Prison of Grass