This is a story inspired by my own family and my great-Aunt Bernice. She was like a grandmother to me. It was a joy to imagine their lives on the island (a mile from where my parents have a home today). The story is fiction. It’s a way for people of all ages to learn more about a Métis family in Ontario before they hid their identity for protection and to stay together.
“A treasure map sparks a coastal Canadian Métis eight-year-old’s search for gold in an exuberant, richly detailed novel from a Métis author sharing her family’s fictionalized history…. A sweet historical fiction pick for fans of well-intentioned young protagonists with enlightening Indigenous representation.” Booklist
“This is a novel for young teens, featuring historical fiction depicting life on this part of Georgian Bay in the early 1900s, and a history of the Indigenous people, the voyageurs and the settlers who came later to these islands. It is also a compelling novel about an adventurous girl who finds that the real gold on Georgian Bay is right where she lives.” Charlotte Stein, ParrySound.com
“Author Jessica Outram has given us a story with a difference: a book that incorporates many phrases in the Métis language, Michif.” Helen Norrie, Winnipeg Free Press
“An excellent complementary read for indigenous or Canadian history studies. It is a worthwhile and thoughtful read and an admirable way of paying tribute to past generations. Highly Recommended.” Canadian Review of Materials
“As a story, it will interest readers of all ages, moving deftly between the warm family scenes, industries across the water, and the dangerous storms of Georgian Bay.” Historical Novel Society
“Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold is an amusing and informative story that serves both to entertain and educate the reader. It would be a positive addition to any home or school library.” Anishinabek News
Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold is now available in hardcover as a Junior Library Guild selection.
Follow me on social media to learn more about some of the people and places who inspired the book.
Brave Bernice is ready for an adventure!
It’s the summer of 1914. Eight-year-old Bernice lives with her family in a lighthouse on Georgian Bay. One day Bernice wakes up to find a stranger named Tom Thomson sleeping in their living room. When she overhears him talk about gold on a nearby island, Bernice is determined to find it. Inspired by her beloved Mémère’s stories of their Métis family’s adventures and hardships, Bernice takes the treasure map the stranger left behind and sets out in a rowboat with nothing more than her two dogs for company and the dream of changing her family’s fortunes forever.
Product Information: Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold
- Release: May 16, 2023
- Second Story Press
- $12.95 Paperback
- 190 Pages
- 5.25″ x 7.5″
- Children’s Fiction
- Ages 9-12 / Grades 4-7
- ISBN: 9781772603187
Jessica Outram is a MÃ©tis writer and educator with roots in the Georgian Bay MÃ©tis Community. She is the 4th Poet Laureate of Cobourg, Ontario. For decades she has captured Georgian Bay summer sunsets with her camera. This project is for family and friends who share her love of sunsets. Anyone is welcome to purchase a book.
- Primary Category: Arts & Photography Books
- Project Option: Standard Landscape, 10Ã—8 in, 25Ã—20 cm
# of Pages: 24
- Hardcover, Dust Jacket: 9781006416453
- Published by Sunshine in a Jar Press
- Using a print on demand service: Blurb. Since hundreds of copies were not printed, the cost per book is higher than hoped.
- Limited Edition.
- $55.00 plus tax and delivery
If you know Jessica or live nearby, you can also purchase books directly from Jessica to avoid shipping costs (paying by cash or etransfer: $55 plus GST/HST $7.15 = $62.15).
Sunsets in Britt is also available at Let’s Talk Books in Cobourg.
Every summer I spend hours in the boat taking photographs of the landscape I love so much. It still amazes me how every day is different out on the bay.
Our family history in Britt, Ontario, is rich and goes back to before the town had its name. Britt stretches down one road off Highway 69 along Still River to Lake Magnetewan and out to the mouth of Georgian Bay.
Mom worked on a population study when she was in high school (in the late 60s) and reported five hundred people lived there then. Approximately, three hundred people live in Britt now.
Photo collection of Gereaux Island Lighthouse, near Britt/Byng Inlet, Ontario. My grandfather grew up in this lighthouse.
Georgian Bay: July, 1988.Â The clouds feather high in the cobalt sky.Â When Evergreen floats near the shore, I climb out the nose and jump to the rock holding the rope. My feet splash into the water.Â I stumble.Â My cousin Michael laughs.
Some people might call it the woods, but our family has always called it the bush. Â Rolling granite, moss, and long grasses topped with juniper bushes, birches, maples, and pines extend for many kilometres from my parents’ place across Crown land.