Mamaskatch Book Launch: Darrel J. McLeod’s “Cree Coming of Age”

Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church
2020 W Lake of the Isles Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55405
United States

Free and all are welcome. RSVP encouraged via Eventbrite.

Join Milkweed Editions, Birchbark Books, the Native American Community Development Institute, and the Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis in welcoming Darrel J. McLeod to the Twin Cities as we celebrate the launch of his debut memoir, Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age, the on the last day of American Indian Month. This event also kicks off his Sharing Stories tour across the United States.

Called “powerful and overdue” by Heart Berries author Terese Marie Mailhot, Darrel J. McLeod’s memoir Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age is a lyrical and intimate story about the impact of colonization on McLeod and his family. McLeod writes about abuse, gender fluidity, queerness, and grief with candor, grace, and strength.

This event is free and all are welcome. Food and refreshments will be served; for that reason, please RSVP via Eventbrite so the organizers can plan accordingly.

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Birchbark Books is a local, Native-owned independent bookstore and a locus for Native intellectual life.

The Native American Community Development Institute acts as a catalyst to help Native people create the future they envision. Our work is founded on the belief that all American Indian people have a place, purpose, and a future strengthened by sustainable community development. NACDI initiates projects that benefit the Native community, often in partnership with other Indigenous-led organizations.

The Consulate General of Canada in Minneapolis represents the Government of Canada in the 5-state region of Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.


“Powerful and overdue … The hard and brilliant life breathing on [these] pages brought me to tears, to joy, and to grace.” —Terese Marie Mailhot, author of Heart Berries

Mamaskatch is a haunting and joyful ode to the resilience of an often complicated, always extraordinary mother. Intimate and affecting, McCleod’s memoir asks complex questions about the legacies we inherit and the way in which self-invention is a crucial act of survival.” —Esi Edugyan, author of Washington Black

“McLeod’s memoir is one that will get under your skin for so many reasons, and then live there. The horrors of residential schools, the complications of being Indigenous in a world that wishes you would go away, and family ties that stretch to the point of breaking … not to mention struggles with identity and sexuality. It may sound like too much for one narrative to support, but McLeod handles it with the light, magical touch of a born storyteller. This story is one you won’t soon forget. Heartbreaking, uplifting, terrifying … yes, all these things, and more.” —Chris La Tray, Fact & Fiction

Mamaskatch is no easy read, but it’s an absolutely necessary one … This book will break your heart, and it will make you think about a lot of things in North American history that need to be brought to light. Essential.” —Andrew King, University Book Store