Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age Story, the engaging,honest and thought provoking memoir by Cree author Darrel J McLeod is the 2018 Governor General English Literary Award winner for non-fiction. Mamaskatch —named for the Cree word used as a response to dreams shared—is ultimately an uplifting account of overcoming personal and societal obstacles. In spite of the traumas of Darrel’s childhood, deep and mysterious forces handed down by his mother helped him survive and thrive: her love and strength stayed with him to build the foundation of what would come to be a very fulfilling and adventurous life. This autobiography details life impacted by the disintegration of family, poverty, suicide, gender identity issues, racism, and bullying. The legacy of residential school is presented through compelling accounts about his personal experiences and those of his mother and siblings. This first volume provides an intense back story for readers as we await the second volume of McLeod’s life story. Before deciding to pursue writing in his retirement, McLeod was a chief negotiator of land claims for the federal government and executive director of education and international affairs with the Assembly of First Nations. He holds degrees in French literature and Education from the University of British Columbia. He lives in Sooke, BC, and is working on a second memoir following the events in Mamaskatch. Highly recommended.