Finalist for the Saskatchewan Book Awards
Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney is a compelling study of an intriguing character - a white man who assumed a First Nations "voice" to promote his ideas and ideals to an international audience. In turn, the book raises difficult questions about identity and voice, Indigenous culture, human rights and the environment.
Ruffo draws on extensive archival research and family memories - Grey Owl lived for three years with Ruffo's grandmother's family in the small northern Ontario community of Biscotasing - to offer new insights about the man and his mission. With clear, direct and evocative language, Ruffo writes from Grey Owl's own perspective as well as from the viewpoints of women he loved and men with whom he worked. The poems detail both his professional achievements and his personal failures.
Ruffo brings a deep understanding of Indigenous thought, excellent research skills and a mature craft to this collection. Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney marks a significant contribution to Indigenous writing and to Canadian literature.