Bitter Embrace: White Society's Assault on the Woodland Cree
July 14, 2003: Flin Flon lawyer Michael Bomek pleads guilty to six counts of sexual assault on young Cree men, some of whom come from the community of Pelican Narrows. His crime is emblematic of white culture’s assault on this Rock Cree community. On the one hand, he was a dedicated lawyer who won 75 per cent of his cases for his native clients. On the other, he was an unthinkably corrupting influence.
For over 200 years, Pelican Narrows has endured an equally torturous relationship with the encroaching European culture, from the Hudson Bay factors and missionaries of earlier times to the bureaucrats and police of today. By scrupulously researching the history of a community she has known for much of her life, by using oral history and documenting the personal stories of contemporary Pelican Narrows Cree, Siggins gives us the human face behind the newspaper headlines of native issues. Her storytelling powers are formidable and the portrait she gives us of this single Saskatchewan community is unforgettable.