Front cover: My Indian Summer by Joseph Kakwinokanasum


  • Windsor Bookfest

Two Kohkums and an Elder

Author Joseph Kakwinokanasum has never been east of Winnipeg - until now. He was one of the guest authors at this year's Bookfest Windsor, his first literary festival.

A novel

Author: Joseph Kakwinokanasum

Winner of the PMC Indigenous Literature Award 2023

Three kohkums, a man named Crow, two best friends, and a drug dealer . . . twelve-year-old Hunter may be getting out of Red Rock sooner than he hoped.

For Hunter Frank, the summer of ’79 begins with his mother returning home only to collect the last two months’ welfare cheques, leaving her three “fucking half-breeds” to fend for themselves. When his older sister escapes their northern BC town and his brother goes to fight forest fires, Hunter is on his own, with occasional care coming from a trio of elders—his kohkums—and companionship from his two best friends.

It’s been a good summer for the young entrepreneur, but the cash in the purple Crown Royal bag hidden in his mattress still isn’t enough to fund his escape from his monstrous mother and the town of Red Rock. As the Labour Day weekend arrives, so does a new friend with old wisdom and a business opportunity that might be just what a boy at the crossroads needs. 

My Indian Summer is the story of a journey to understanding that some villains are also victims, and that while reconciliation may not be possible, survival is.

  • Fiction, 240pp
  • ISBN 978-1-990160-12-7 (paperback)
  • ISBN 978-1-990160-13-4 (e-book)
  • 5.5″ x 8.5″
  • To be published September 2022
  • Paperback: CA $22.95  / US $18.95
  • Ebook: CA $15.95 / US $13.95

With chapters that share titles with huge seventies radio hits by the likes of ABBA, Kenny Rogers, Nick Gilder, and Captain & Tennille, My Indian Summer appears to point readers in the direction of a wholly feel-good feast of nostalgia . . . In Kakwinokanasum’s story, though, there’s misery in copious amounts at home and danger on the streets; and the future is anything but bright. We may wish for the possibility of a pure, summery nostalgia for Hunter, the author’s immensely likeable and dogged protagonist. In the Sooke, BC resident’s tale unadulterated bliss isn’t altogether realistic.

Brett Josef Grubisic, The British Columbia Reviews

He breathes life into his characters at their first mention and draws you into the gossamer web of his vibrant storytelling, from which there is no escape other than to read a story through to its end.

Darrel J. McLeod, Winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award