Abenaki Daring: The Life and Writings of Noel Annance, 1792–1869
by Jean Barman
McGill-Queen’s University Press, 400 pages, $39.95
Jean Barman’s book Abenaki Daring: The Life and Writings of Noel Annance, 1792–1869 provides a fascinating glimpse into the experiences of a man whose career and whose life as an Indigenous person and as a proclaimed “gentleman” dared to challenge the exclusion he faced within the context of the developing Dominion. As Annance reflected towards the end of his life, all of his education and training could never make up for what he called “the crime of being an ‘Indian.’”
Abenaki Daring challenges those who would see the history of Indigenous exclusion as beginning with legislation passed after Confederation. It places Annance’s life within the context of society’s rejection of Indigenous people, as well as within his own personal reflections.
Carefully researched and featuring many of Annance’s original writings, Abenaki Daring is an important and timely study about being Indigenous and about identity and colonialism.