Kieran Moore is an Irish immigrant who, at the age of twenty, faced impending layoffs at his construction job in Winnipeg. He was frustrated at the instability and purposelessness of my life at the time and decided to head into the North West Territories in the hope of finding that purpose there. Shortly after arrival, he was asked to build a church in the Dene community of Rae Lakes in the northern boreal region of Canada. That assignment led to his immersion in the world of the Dene throughout the 1970-1980s, the period covered in his book. It was at a time of dramatic change for Dene communities. He experienced both the richness of character of the people and shared in their traditional ways and also experienced the confusion and suffering the community underwent as the old ways came under threat from outside forces. The tradition of storytelling was an integral part of the Dene way and he learned a great deal by listening to their elders and working with them as they built structures, lived side by side and hunted together. The stories he tells reflect his personal engagement with the Dene of the N.W.T. and they are told in the spirit of the storytelling tradition of the Dene and that of his Irish ancestors. The author presently lives in Peterborough Ontario, still clinging to the past with good connections with his friends in the North, some of which make the long journey to do talks at Trent University and stop in for visits. He owns two incredibly large Huskies that take up a great part of his time. He has done guiding for Mahoosuc Guide, operating adventure trips in Chibougamau, Quebec. Trips such as week-long dog sled and canoe trips in the Quebec wilderness on Cree family trap-line.
"Burnt Snow opens the reader to the fascinating world of
Dene life, culture, way of life, mythology, medicine, and beliefs.
This is a great book and will be greatly appreciated by the people
of the North. The world needs to see and read this book."
--Senator Nick Sibbeston"This is an amazing book about a young man who embraced the Dene culture in our spectacular True North in exploring, travel and working. A respectful story of our people's lives in a time of great change."
-- Charles Neyelle, Dene Spiritual leader and Elder of Deline, Northwest Territories. "As a young man, he set out to experience the hunter/gather culture of the Dene people before it disappeared and wise elders shared everything with him - their land and skills, legends and so much more for a reason. They knew how to live in complete harmony with the environment. Something we in the south have lost, and now Mother Nature is screaming."
-- Peter Blow, Documentary filmmaker (Village of Widows, The BarrensQuest) "This is a work of historical significance to Canada. Moore records events during a period of rapid change in the Canadian north, a period of industrialization, devolution, the re-emergence of Indigenous self-government. This, of itself, qualifies the work as a historical document. I would suggest that this book will appeal to scholars and enthusiasts interested in the north; to hunters, fishers and wilderness travelers, to scholars of history, anthropology, and public policy, and ultimately it will appeal to those who love a good story."
-- David Young, retired Manitoba economist and wildlife enthusiast. "Mr. Moore's book is equal parts frank self-exploration and humble ethnology. As a newcomer in Dene and Dogrib lands, Moore experienced local culture, economics, and, at times, overwhelming change, first hand. I admire his approach as a sojourner and writer. Moore lived in the north for more than three decades but never assumes a superior tone in his perspective. He arrived in the north to be educated and never stopped learning and listening. This is a memoir steeped in love and respect for the life skills and vast knowledge of the land-based people he encountered in the Northwest Territories of Canada."
-- James Cullingham, Adjunct Graduate Faculty Member Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies, Trent University.