Cold Case North: The Search for James Brady and Absolom Halkett

Univ. of Regina. Nov. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9780889777491. pap. $19.95. CRIME
In 1967, prospectors James Brady and Absolom Halkett disappeared in northern Saskatchewan while looking for the next big claim. Fifty years later, their Indigenous community is still searching for answers: Did the two men succumb to the elements? Were they attacked by bears? Or were they murdered? Nest (Coltan) teams up with Cree-Métis academic Deanna Reder (English and First Nations studies, Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby, BC) and Eric Bell, a former Parks Canada warden who knew Brady and Halkett, to find clues and conduct interviews with the remaining Cree and Métis community members who remember the missing, with the aim of discovering what happened that fateful June on the Lower Foster Lake. Readers get a clear picture of Brady, a revered Métis community activist and political leader who focused more on the La Ronge community and prospecting in later years, and Halkett, an activist in his own right, though more reserved and interested in a bushman’s life. The authors share their findings in a manner that is respectful to the First Nations and Métis people they interviewed, while keeping an open mind and exploring all possibilities.
VERDICT Blending historical narrative and true crime, this is compelling reading for anyone interested in First Nations cultures or cold case research.
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