Review of Midnight Sweatlodge
By: Christine McFarlane
Midnight Sweatlodge” is a collection of short powerful stories that reflect struggles young Native youth have experienced or witnessed throughout Aboriginal Canada. It is written by Waubgeshig Rice, a member of Wausasking First Nation and a CBC reporter based in Ottawa. This is Rice’s first book.
Midnight Sweatlodge is about a group of youth and family who gather together to take in an ancient aboriginal ceremony-the sweatlodge ceremony. The struggles reflected in “Midnight Sweatlodge” deal with everything from isolation, identity crises, depression and substance abuse. Through each youth narrating their story, they are giving voice to an inner pain and sharing it with others. By sharing, they are telling other youth participants, they are not alone.
This collection of short stories is a great read, and captivates the reader right away. Through each story in this collection Rice also exposes non-native readers to some of the difficulties that young native people live with in Canada, and attempts to break the negative portrayals that mainstream media often tries to convey about aboriginal youth. This book is a great collection that gives important issues a platform and a voice that non-native individuals may not be privy to.
Midnight Sweatlodge is 85 pages and published by Theytus Books. You can find it at your local bookstore.