Native Born Son is J. David Ford's first-hand telling of his suspenseful exploits while growing up in the eastern arctic during the 1920s and 30s. He was born into a multi-generational line of traders, trappers and Hudson's Bay Company employees who, since the late 1700s, lived alongside and sometimes intermarried with indigenous people. This social history depicts life at the end of an era - before radio communication, snowmobiles or power boats - a nomadic life on the verge of extinction.
The stories, written before David left the arctic to enlist for WWII, languished in an attic north of Port Hope, Ontario. Now, a hundred years after the eight-year-old David Ford first set foot on Coats Island at the top of Hudson Bay, they have been given new life. This is one person's story of adventure, risk taking, survival and community in a harsh land. The narrative combines a deep respect for the indigenous people's way of life with their wise stewardship of natural resources.
Marnie Hare Bickle has compiled and edited the accounts, and provides context, explanations and insights in the introduction. Michele E. Collins adds clarity and whimsy with delightful illustrations and maps.
"An extraordinary life story, told with honesty, humour and compassion." --Leslie Boyd, Owner & Director, Inuit Fine Art Gallery
"Vivid characters and hardships feel cinematic, swooping the reader deep into culture and life in the arctic"--Joan E. Athey, Peaceworks Now Productions
" A worthy and wonderful addition to literature of the Canadian north in the early 20th century." --Wade Rowland, author of Canada Lives Here