20.12m: A Short Story Collection of a Life Lived as a Road Allowance Métis celebrates and acknowledges the humble living conditions of Métis Road Allowance families and it exemplifies their grit and tenacity to survive and indeed succeed in the face of so many hardships. “20.12m” refers to the narrow width of many of the road allowances throughout the prairies. This unoccupied crown land became one of the meagre options for many impoverished Métis families as so few owned land.
In this passionate coming of age book, Arnolda Dufour Bowes honours the true-life experiences of her father, Arnold Charles Dufour, a resident of the Punnichy, Saskatchewan Road Allowance community. The strength of the oral tradition has kept these stories solidly in place in Arnolda’s memory. Weaving true elements with those drawn from her own creativity, these five engaging stories share a lived experience that is little-known to most Canadians. This collection of cherished remembrances of this Métis family will also strongly resonate with many other Métis families who lived similar lives. In keeping with the family focus, Arnolda’s sister, Andrea Haughian, skillfully complements these poignant stories with expressive illustrations, which both honour and richly portray road allowance life.
Author: Arnolda Dufour Bowes
Illustrator: Andrea Haughian
Grade Level: Secondary/Post Secondary/Adult