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University of Regina Press Fall 2020 Catalogue

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Cold Case North
The Search for James Brady and Absolom Halkett
By (author): Michael Nest By (author): Deanna Reder By (author): Eric Bell
9780889777491 Paperback, Trade English General Trade TRUE CRIME / Abductions, Kidnappings & Missing Persons Saskatchewan Nov 07, 2020
$24.95 CAD
Forthcoming 127 x 177.8 mm | 320 gr 272 pages University of Regina Press
For fans of true crime, an unsolved mystery of missing persons, police conspiracies, and private investigations in an Indigenous community in northern Canada.

Métis leader James Brady was one of the most famous Indigenous activists in Canada. A communist, strategist, and bibliophile, he led Métis and First Nations to rebel against government and church oppression. Brady’s success made politicians and clergy fear him, and he had enemies everywhere.

In 1967, while prospecting in Saskatchewan with Cree Band Councillor and fellow activist Absolom Halkett, both men vanished without a trace from their remote lakeside camp. For 50 years rumours swirled of secret mining interests, political intrigue, assassination, and murder. Cold Case North is the story of how a small team, with the help of a local Indigenous community, exposed police failure in the original investigation, discovered new clues and testimony, and gathered the pieces of the North’s most enduring missing persons puzzle.

“This engrossing account charts the efforts of three dedicated people to determine the fate of two missing Indigenous men in the north of Canada. [...] Meticulously researched, this smoothly written tale of injustice showcases the authors’ tenacity and arouses the reader’s indignation. This is a scathing rebuke of the RCMP’s failure to take the case of missing Indigenous people seriously.” —Publisher's Weekly

“Like too many cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous people, authorities failed to ensure that Brady and Halkett’s deaths were properly investigated. This book helps get to the bottom of the fate of these two men, and demonstrates why investigators should never dismiss the knowledge of Indigenous peoples.” —Darren Prefontaine, author of Gabriel Dumont

Cold Case North is an enthralling search for intimate answers and broader social accountability. Essential reading.” —David Chariandy, author of I've Been Meaning to Tell You

Cold Case North is part true crime thriller, part gripping mystery about the disappearance of Métis legend James Brady and Absolom Halkett in northern Saskatchewan. It is also about Indigenous knowledge, investigative incompetence, and the stuff of legend.” —Paul Seesequasis, author of Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun

“A fascinating search for the truth, Cold Case North unravels the layers of a decades’ old mystery. It is about how communities hold knowledge for generations, and how missing loved ones are never forgotten.” —Katherena Vermette, author of River Woman and The Break

Michael Nest is a freelance researcher and award-winning author whose work focuses on mining and corruption. Michael lives in Montréal.

Deanna Reder is a Cree-Métis literary critic and an Associate Professor in English and First Nations Studies at Simon Fraser University. Deanna lives in Vancouver.

Eric Bell is a member of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and the owner of La Ronge Emergency Medical Services. Eric lives in La Ronge, SK.


“Like too many cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous people, authorities failed to ensure that Brady and Halkett’s deaths were properly investigated. This book helps get to the bottom of the fate of these two men, and demonstrates why investigators should never dismiss the knowledge of Indigenous peoples.” —Darren Prefontaine, author of Gabriel Dumont

“This engrossing account charts the efforts of three dedicated people to determine the fate of two missing Indigenous men in the north of Canada. [...] Meticulously researched, this smoothly written tale of injustice showcases the authors’ tenacity and arouses the reader’s indignation. This is a scathing rebuke of the RCMP’s failure to take the case of missing Indigenous people seriously.” —Publisher's Weekly

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