Published Books

Published Books

Feature Image: Teyoninhokarawen  Major John Norton 

See Dictionary of Canadian Biography online.

Books are not for sale on this site (although they are for sale).

If you are interested in learning about the Grand River Navigation Company (1832-1885) and how the Navigation’s scandal impacted the Haudenosaunee, you can always buy Bruce E Hill’s The Grand River Navigation Company, or pay a visit to your local library to borrow the Mohawk Trilogy. For free. Let us not silence any voice.

Although celebratory statues are now and always will be problematic, books are easily given context – e.g., Thomas Chandler Haliburton’s The Clockmaker Series (1830s) needs serious contexting to make the racist and sexist humour palatable and/or educational for a modern (young) audience.

Here is the main criticism of cancel culture. If, instead of contexting, you want to sweep the board clean of histories and bygone affordances (because you’re offended by our ancestors’ decisions), you’re not WOKE, you’re lazy – the laziest of censors – and you’re no student of socialization. To grasp social issues of today, citizens need to know what happened back then, and why.

In the lead up to the American Civil War, the Nova Scotian judge, T. C. Haliburton – with his his overt Englishness, his outrageous sketches, and his irreverent humour – describes the 1830-ish manners of his Maritime culture club. Halliburton was wildly popular. Sam Slick was a household name.

People who were mannered in Haliburton’s culture club prized their loyalty to the English Crown, they marvelled at the capitalistic spirit of Americans, and most agreed with the writer whenever he lambasted the laziness/gullibility of Bluenose consumers. Uncritical fans of Haliburton were Tories, whose powerful political and legal dominators were not offended by racism or sexism. That much is clear.

But on the horizon there were new affordances (contexts) inviting new dominators.

We know this: after the American Civil War and certainly by the 1870s, progressive British North American dominators and progressive manners were on the rise. Taking advantage of the increased mass of anti-slave voters after the Union’s win, dominators promoted African- and European-lineage integration and universal suffrage. By the end of the 20th century, what had been the 19th century’s tiny progressive culture club grew to have enough mass to take decisive command of the hegemony – but wait: Haliburton’s culture club only shrank/shrunk (lost mass); it did not disappear.

From time immemorial, culture clubs have fixated on one main thing: death.

Death comes in a variety of ways. A culture club’s raison d’etre may be outmoded, and its purpose no longer relative to affordances. People leave. The club collapses.

But painful death occurs when a culture club finds itself swamped by another culture club. A dead/dispersed culture club, having (mostly) lost its language and manners, is a frequent occurrence in nature but it’s sad to see.

If your knitting society folds overnight, that’s a shame. If, through war,  your nation state folds overnight, that’s a tragedy. The people of the war-torn diaspora are either willing or forced to comply with conquering  dominators. People from the diasporas do hang on, though, longing for halcyon days (that usually never were – but at least they were their own days).

As we see from today’s media outlets, the ancient fear of cultural death persists. Old-stock white European dominators, with their advocacy of white-supremacy and their sexist manners and their worries about being swamped by “the other,” still linger at our door, hating to be killed off by the other, more progressive culture club.

There is no-one-size-fits-all set of cultural policies and protocols. First Nations (and Inuit and Métis) have created their own culture clubs, hoping to fight against the kind of assimilation that African Americans desired/desire, proving that culture clubs, while structurally the same, don’t have the same common purposes and manners.

In short, Blacks in North America want “in.” They are pro-assimilation (and want full access to whatever the hegemony offers whites). Indigenous want “out.” They are anti-assimilation (and want their culture clubs to partner, on their own terms, with the hegemony).

Whatever the manners of a writer like Haliburton, old and new books are not for burning or banning (especially Canadian books), and everyone needs allies – most notably Canadian writers. 

 

Culture Clubs: The Art of Living Together (2002)

Weird Tit-for-tat: The Game of Our Lives (2004)

Squire Davis and the Crazy River (2009) 

Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos (2013)

Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos: The Battle of Vinegar Hill (2012)

Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos: Charter (2018) 

11 July 2022, Culture Clubs: The Real Fate of Societies 

The novels are inspired by family stories, dates, and facts. The writer believes questions are important; however, if you are a Canadian family researcher/genealogist, please read the Mohawk Trilogy before making queries about the trilogy’s fictionalized characters or the novels’ actual histories. Pertinent details are listed in each book of the trilogy. If you want to understand the Grand River Navigation Company’s scandalous treatment of the Haudenosaunee, you can find a summary addendum (Appendix: “The River, the ‘Indians’ and the Navigation”) included at the conclusion of Book 2,  Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos: The Battle of Vinegar Hill, available at your local public library. 

For complimentary blurbs on the Mohawk Trilogy, see Trumpeting.

Book cover painting (Culture Clubs: The Real Fate of Societies) Cornelius Krieghoff. Breaking Lent or a Friday’s Surprise. C 1849.

C. C. (Kiff) Holland AWS, SFCA – cover artist for Culture Clubs: The Art of Living Together and Weird Tit-for-Tat: The Game of Our Lives. Holland is past president of of the Federation of Canadian Artists and, in 1992, he was elected a Signature Member of the American Watercolour Society. He has received numerous awards from the Federation of Canadian Artists and took first place in the Northwest Watercolor Society, the annual competition. Holland’s work has also been in the exhibition of the British Institute of Painters in Watercolour, and the Royal Society of British Artists.

Gerry Dotto – cover artist for the Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos books, the Mohawk Trilogy. Dotto is a top-tier graphic designer and visual artist. He works with a variety of mediums and experiments with different creative techniques, including photography, printmaking, mixed media, collage using recycled materials, aluminum based work and sculpture. His art has been displayed in solo exhibitions, on government walls, and in countless publications. Dotto took first place (2017) for Still Life, in the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts International Photography Competition.

S. Minsos PhD Susan Williams Minsos is the former coordinator of the Canadian Studies Program at the University of Alberta. Dr. Minsos wrote Culture Clubs: The Art of Living Together and its prequel Weird Tit-for-Tat: The Game of Our Lives to challenge with an unusual (Weird) tit-for-tat trichotomy the conventional tit-for-tat dichotomy. She completes the culture-club series with her newly released book, Culture Clubs: The Real Fate of Societies.

As for methodology, Minsos’ theory of socialization contributes significantly to our understanding of the way domination sparks the manners of individuals, and how teams (groups of individuals/culture clubs) naturally coalesce around a common purpose – and the purpose always depends on variable contexts, aka, affordances.

It was to illustrate differing culture clubs and manners that Minsos wrote the Mohawk Trilogy, the Sky Walker Tehawennihárhos novels.

As the mid-century dust settles in Canada West (Ontario), the protagonists try to fit in either with established culture clubs or new ones, whichever may best suit their needs as they adapt to changing affordances.

The colonial government, William Hamilton Merritt, and David Thompson’s mishandling of the Grand River Navigation Company was the scandal that rocked the solid foundations of the wealthy Six Nations Confederacy, 1832-1882.

 

The footsteps of First Nations’ ancestors have marked Edmonton, Alberta, and Treaty 6 territory for centuries – Papaschase Cree, Nêhiyaw/Cree, Dené, Anishinaabe/Saulteaux, Nakota Isga /Nakota Sioux, and Niitsitapi/Blackfoot. I also acknowledge and respect the homeland of the Métis and Inuit nations. Brantford and Brant County occupy territory within the Haldimand Tract, treaty land and traditional hunting grounds of the Haudenosaunee.