Moccasin Tracks

A Memoir of Mi'kmaw Life in Newfoundland

John Nick Jeddore (Author) 

Now available!

From the book:

One of the main reasons I started writing down a few stories was the sense of loss I felt when Nickley died, in the spring of 1991. I realized then that the strong links of culture, custom, and language that bound us to our ancestors were slipping away.... At the age of 16 or so, I trudged hundreds of miles behind Nickley, over barren and mish, and up and down river. I can still hear his voice at sunset, singing the old Mi’kmaw hymns while chopping wood, making moulds, or showing me how he could “sculp” an otter with his old razor-sharp breadknife. You could always tell Nickley from a distance because of his way of walking two steps and then running a ways. He was quick to laugh—big bursts of laughter that echoed across the hills.

John Nick Jeddore’s richly detailed memoir begins when he was a boy in the 1920s and 1930s. His historical account makes a major contribution to our understanding of life “on the country” and in Conne River, Bay D'Espoir, as well as what it was like to be confined to a tuberculosis sanatorium and to serve overseas in the Forestry Service during WWII. John Nick recounts a lifetime of following in his ancestors’ footsteps and reflects on his attempts to reconcile that heritage with a changing social and cultural world. His book will serve as an important legacy for many generations of scholars and general readers.

John Nick Jeddore is a Mi'kmaw elder, living in Conne River, Bay D’Espoir. A long-time local entrepreneur, he has also been an active and prominent member of the community, serving as the first president of the Conne River Native Council and as a councillor with the Miawpukek Band Council. John Nick has always taken pride in keeping traditions alive. He is often invited to the local school to share his knowledge, memories, and experiences with the students, whom he hopes will in turn pass on his stories to their own children some day. Now in his 90s, John Nick likes to keep busy by carving wooden replicas of eel spears, exercising on his treadmill, cooking, keeping in touch with friends and family through social media, and travelling. He still enjoys a meal of fish and wild meat, and is grateful that community members often share their catch with him. John Nick is the recipient of several awards, including the "Tradition Bearer" Award from the Historic Commemorations Program (2012), the Seniors of Distinction Award for being a "Keeper of Knowledge" (2010), a Lifetime Achievement Award for Long-time Entrepreneur from the Atlantic Aboriginal Achievement Awards (2007), and the Donald Marshall Memorial Elder Award (2005).

ISERBooks. Softcover. Published in 2015. 204 pages. ISBN 978-1-894725-24-8.

$24.95 CAD

Subjects: Autobiography/BiographyCulture, Politics, and IdentityIndigenous StudiesNewfoundland and Labrador Studies