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Analysis Of The Book ' Halfbreed ' By Maria Campbell

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Summary Maria Campbell’s autobiography Halfbreed is a moving story about a young Native girl’s battle to survive, in coming to terms with the past and in discovering a way to build a brighter future in an atmosphere of social abuse and viciousness. Campbell is the oldest daughter of seven children, and was born in northern Saskatchewan. Within the book, she points out the differences between the Native people and the whites, as well as those of status Indians with non-status Native people. Both whites and full-blooded Native people rejected her due to her designation as a non-status Native, otherwise known as Metis. Filled with a strong feeling of resentment and anger, Campbell’s search for self-identity and her struggle to overcome the poverty, discrimination, and cruelty experienced by Metis individuals are described within the novel. When Campbell was twelve, her mother passed away. As a young girl, she was forced to give up school and take on the role of the mother to her younger siblings. At fifteen years old, Campbell felt obligated to marry in order to prevent her younger brothers and sisters from being taken away from her and her father. Unfortunately, her diligent work and good intentions did not keep her family together. Her spouse, a white, abusive alcoholic, reported her to the welfare authorities, and her siblings were taken away and placed in foster homes. Her husband chose to take his family to Vancouver, where he abandoned her and their newly born child.
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