The first third of Keeper ‘n Me details the life of Garnet Raven who was taken from his Objibway parents when he was three years old and raised in non-native foster homes.
He grows up never knowing who or where his real family is and his search for identity and belonging are authentic and poignant.
Like so many First Nations people from similar backgrounds, his dysfunctional life inevitably finds him in prison where he is contacted by someone who says he’s his brother. Indeed, he has an entire family living on a reserve in northern Ontario.
Upon his release and with nowhere else to go he decides to check it out.
The balance of Keeper ‘n Me is the story of his reunion with his family on the remote White Dog reserve and his introduction to the culture and spirituality of his ancestors by an old man referred to as Keeper.
Life on the White Dog reserve is mostly boring and so is reading about it. The anecdotes about events are quaint but mostly uninspiring. The importance of the connection Indigenous people have with nature is reinforced again and again and …
The climax of the story comes when Garnet spends four days in the wilderness by himself – a vision quest of sorts, which, of course manifests in meaningful dreams about his ancestors.
If this book wasn’t written by an Indigenous person it would be dismissed as a clichéd misrepresentation of the contemporary First Nations people.