From the Ashes, My Story of Being Métis, Homeless, and Finding My Way, By Jesse Thistle
In this extraordinary and inspiring debut memoir, Jesse Thistle, once a high school dropout and now a rising Indigenous scholar, chronicles his life on the streets and how he overcame trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is.
If I can just make it to the next minute...then I might have a chance to live; I might have a chance to be something more than just a struggling crackhead.
From the Ashes is a remarkable memoir about hope and resilience, and a revelatory look into the life of a Métis-Cree man who refused to give up.
Abandoned by his parents as a toddler, Jesse Thistle briefly found himself in the foster-care system with his two brothers, cut off from all they had known. Eventually the children landed in the home of their paternal grandparents, whose tough-love attitudes quickly resulted in conflicts. Throughout it all, the ghost of Jesse’s drug-addicted father haunted the halls of the house and the memories of every family member. Struggling with all that had happened, Jesse succumbed to a self-destructive cycle of drug and alcohol addiction and petty crime, spending more than a decade on and off the streets, often homeless. Finally, he realized he would die unless he turned his life around.
In this heart-warming and heart-wrenching memoir, Jesse Thistle writes honestly and fearlessly about his painful past, the abuse he endured, and how he uncovered the truth about his parents. Through sheer perseverance and education—and newfound love—he found his way back into the circle of his Indigenous culture and family.
An eloquent exploration of the impact of prejudice and racism, From the Ashes is, in the end, about how love and support can help us find happiness despite the odds.
About The Author
Jesse Thistle is Métis-Cree, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He is an assistant professor in Métis Studies at York University in Toronto. He won a Governor General’s Academic Medal in 2016, and is a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a Vanier Scholar. He lives in Toronto. Visit him on Twitter @MichifMan
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The lead single from Midnight Shine’s third album HIGH ROAD (released February 2018) is an exceptional cover of HEART OF GOLD, bringing a timely new sound to a timeless classic. This version is distinctly different, yet honours the heart and soul of the original.
“Quite a fascinating version of Neil’s song. Love the First Nations’ feel of it. Very cool...” -- John Einarson, Neil Young Biographer & Music Historian
"In a bold choice, the band pays tribute to one of Canada’s greatest songwriters and folk music’s greatest innovators, Neil Young. Their cover of his 1972 hit “Heart Of Gold” is stunning and not only links the group to the folk roots of rock and roll but also highlights the group’s Indigenous heritage through the vocal styling and with the final verse being translated into Mushkegowuk Cree. The track is not only a definite highlight among High Road, but also holds up to the original..." -- Gerrod Harris, Canadianbeats.ca
"Putting a fresh spin on a classic is a tough task, but James Bay-area Indigenous roots-rockers Midnight Shine manages to do just that. The familiar strummed guitar intro is accompanied by wailing Indigenous vocals that grab your attention instantly... Adrian Sutherland delivers a heartfelt and convincing vocal performance, and a section of the tune is sung in his Cree language. We reckon Neil would approve." -- Kerry Doole, FYI Music News
HEART OF GOLD (Cover) performed by Midnight Shine, posted with permission from Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. Written by Neil Young. Mushkegowuk Cree translation by Adrian Sutherland. Produced by Midnight Shine and John-Angus MacDonald at Jukasa Studios in Ohsweken, Ontario. Props to Jill Zimmermann, Darren Magierowski, Chris Gormley, João Carvalho.
HEART OF GOLD is available here: