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Young Adult Fiction Canada

Fly Away Snow Goose (Nits’it’ah Golika Xah)

Canadian Historical Brides

by (author) Juliet Waldron & John Wisdomkeeper

BWL Publishing Inc.
Initial publish date
Dec 2017
Canada, Canada, Historical, General
Recommended Age
12 to 18
Recommended Grade
7 to 12
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Dec 2017
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Yaotl and Sascho splashed along the shores of the becha spears hefted, watching for the flash of fin to rise to the surface and sparkle in the sunlight. Tender feelings, barely discovered, flushed their faces. Waving their spears they laughed and teased one another with sprays of newly melted ice water. In the distance, the warning about the kw'ahtıı sounds, but on this fatal day it goes unheard; Yaotl and Sascho fall into the hands of the Indian Agents. Transport to Fort Providence residential school is only the beginning of their ordeal, for the teachers believe it is their sworn duty to “kill the Indian inside.” All attempts at escape are severely punished, but Yaotl and Sascho, along with two others, will try, beginning a journey of 900 Kilometers along the Mackenzie River. Like wild geese, brave hearts together, they are homeward bound.

About the authors

Not all who wander are lost.” Juliet Waldron was baptized in the yellow spring of a small Ohio farm town. She earned a B. A. in English, but has worked at jobs ranging from artist’s model to brokerage. Twenty-five years ago, after the kids left home, she dropped out of 9-5 and began to write, hoping to create a genuine time travel experience for herself—and her readers—by researching herself into the Past. Mozart’s Wife won the 1st Independent e-Book Award. Genesee originally won the 2003 Epic Award for Best Historical, and she’s delighted that it’s available again from Books We Love. She enjoys cats, long hikes, history books and making messy gardens with native plants. She’s happy to ride behind her husband on his big “bucket list” sport bike.

Juliet Waldron's profile page

I was taken from my Native mother at birth and adopted by a white family. I wasn't told about my ancestry until I was in my teens and was able to see a copy of my birth and adoption papers. It was then that I learned my birth mother was Native and French and my unknown father was listed as North American Native. I also learned that my birth mother was from the north country of British Columbia, descended from the Sekani Nation (which means 'mountain people'.) The Sekani are medicine healers. Along the Red Road is dedicated to all the travelers I met as I traveled the pathways of both the dark and the red road. This book is from my heart to the many elders who shared their spiritual experiences and who embrace their cultures in the ways they live. My Indian name Sus' naqua ootsin' (Wisdomkeeper) was given to me by a 100 year old lady who looked deep into my eyes and pulled the name from my soul. It was on one of the darkest days of my life, when I struggled with the desire to end it all, that I put on a pair of red running shoes and began to follow the road.

John Wisdomkeeper's profile page

Editorial Reviews

This novel rings with authenticity and will keep the reader spellbound from first page to last.

Marie Rafter

User Reviews

Fly Away Snow Goose

In the first part of Fly Away Snow Goose the reader enters the traditional way of life pursued by First Nations people. The Thcho band is one of different bands of people who inhabit the Canadian North West. Their lands “lie east of the Mackenzie River between Great Slave Lake and Great Bear Lake”.
The Thcho respect for the land is summed up by Rosalie Tailbones.

“It’s the land that keeps things for us. Being our home it’s important for us to take good care of the dwelling, the land, for wherever you go is home.”

At the beginning of this historical novel, Yaot’l and Sascho are innocent teenagers who enjoy each other’s company. Intelligent, brave-hearted Yaot’l, whose name means Warrior, lives with her parents and extended family. Decisive, Sascho a born leader, an orphan, reveres his Uncle John, who teaches him: “It is important to remember the elders for they are still here, lying in the land that had borne them.”

While Sascho is honouring the dead, who died of the white man’s sickness an old man warns him to beware of the white men. “They will cross your pathway and take you to a place where your spirit will be forbidden.”

Neither Sascho nor Yaot’l know that the Canadian Government has passed a law which decrees all Thcho children must leave their families to be educated.

In the second part of this well-researched historical fiction, they are captured by an Indian agent and taken to Fort Providence Residential School where the teachers intend to “kill the Indian inside their pupils.” Abused and half-starved, Sascho is determined to take Yaot’l home.

From the moment they made their escape I wanted them to cross the rivers and make their way through unknown territory. I dreaded either the Indian agent or a Canadian Mountie capturing them and returning them to school. I crossed my fingers hoping their courage would not end in tragedy.

Their people’s way of life is changing. In spring fewer men in the Snow Goose Band made the trek to the fishing grounds. “Some no longer looked to the land for their living but to the white man’s jobs.” This is not the life Yaot’l and Sascho want. They hope to marry and follow their ancestor’s way of life free of interference.

Fly Away Snow Goose is one of the best historical novels I have read in 2017. I travelled with the young lovers, shared their joy and sadness, their triumphs and failures, stumbled on paths with them and rejoiced when they continued. At times, I needed a handkerchief to wipe my tears away.

The authors, Juliet Waldron and John Wisdomkeeper, are to be congratulated on showing me the Snow Geese’s traditional way of life and sharing their legends. They are to be praised for the quality of their writing.

The sun high and bright warmed her black hair. The ache in her shoulders diminished. A little breeze blew as she walked along, inviting tendrils that had escaped from her braids. The creek sparkled and danced nearby, whispering over a bottom of rock. Carried on the breeze were bird calls – the bright sounds of courtship. The birds were singing to set territories, calling from scrub and bush that marked their home range.

“Yaot’l held her arms above her head, allowing the warmth from Father Sun to seep into her hands and down her arms. It was one of those blessing moments, when the light flowed through her body and joined with her spirit making all one.”

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