Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

The anthology kisiskâciwan: Indigenous Voices from Where the River Flows Swiftly is to be published next year.

A Cree writer whose presence in an upcoming anthology of Indigenous writing led other writers to pull out of the project has himself now "respectfully" withdrawn his own work. The controversy erupted as a result of domestic violence in Neal McLeod's past.

"I do not want other writers to feel uncomfortable or feel as though they must choose between academic freedom and other values they hold dear. I do not want others to leave so I can stay," Neal McLeod wrote in a lengthy statement, which he e-mailed to The Globe and Mail.

Read Neal McLeod's statement here.

Story continues below advertisement

The editor of the anthology kisiskâciwan: Indigenous Voices from Where the River Flows Swiftly, being published by University of Regina Press, had stuck by his decision to include McLeod, following an open letter signed by six other contributors who were withdrawing their work as a result of McLeod's presence.

It was a matter of academic freedom, University of Regina Press director and publisher Bruce Walsh explained to The Globe. Walsh says the anthology will still be published next May, now without McLeod's work or the work of the other writers who withdrew, although those authors are certainly welcome back if they choose.

"I am truly sorry that my presence in kisiskâciwan anthology has caused such divisions in both Indigenous and writing communities I hold dear," wrote McLeod, who identifies himself as Cree and Swedish. "This is an important work, with many prestigious and historical authors in it. I was honoured to be included. I am also very grateful for the efforts U of R Press has offered to create spaces for violence to be discussed."

The 120,000-word anthology goes back to the 1760s, and includes early writings from Cree missionaries, speeches and letters by Treaty Chiefs, stories from elders and contemporary writing.

In his statement, McLeod detailed a difficult life, including witnessing violence as a child, becoming suicidal and his near death from alcoholism at 25.

"I was charged with one incident of domestic violence in 2014. I have done several things to transform my life since then. I acknowledged my responsibility before the courts: not shying away from or minimizing, but rather fully and publicly admitting my wrong-doing. This was far from easy, but I summoned the courage to take the right road, even though it was the far more perilous one, as the present controversy makes clear," he writes.

McLeod says he has undergone "intensive counselling," and met the conditions imposed by the court, according to his statement. Three years later, he has a new life, he writes, with a partner and a young son. He says he is trying to be a good role model for his other four sons and two stepdaughters.

Story continues below advertisement

"To my communities, I have deep regret for the ways in which my actions have affected others, those I hurt directly and those who are hurt now. I want to make things right with my communities. I want to help end violence. In the future, as I grow in my understanding in my new path of being, I hope to help others follow a path of non-violence and healing. I am a very different man today. And I ask only for an understanding of the journey I am taking: both the progress made, and the distance to go."

The Globe has not yet been able to connect with Cree writer Erica Violet Lee, who co-organized the open letter. "It can be a really scary and intimidating thing to publicly confront these issues," she told The Globe in an earlier interview. "The reality is we're always told: wait until a better time. But there's no better time than now."

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies