By Maggie Siggins
Scattered Bones is a story of the complicated, fragile and sometimes fatal relations between Indigenous people and settlers in Northern Saskatchewan in the 1920s. Aboriginal spiritual traditions are beginning to cross paths with the construction of a residential school, and ancient acts of violent vengeance are shaping the trajectory of events in the town 200 years later.
Based on historical events, Siggins creates a fictional version of the real-life Pelican Narrows, weaving a colorful tale resplendent with its own cavalcade of dynamic, diverse characters – from greedy merchants to the well-meaning but ineffectual clergy – whose stories play out against the backdrop of a visit from a condescending celebrity writer.
The conflicts between Aboriginals and settlers, Protestants and Catholics, young and old, traditional and progressive, material and spiritual, all shape life in the little Northern community. Ever eloquent, Siggins proves herself more than capable of creating compelling, thought-provoking fiction with Scattered Bones.