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In Search of April Raintree

Fortieth Anniversary Edition

By Beatrice Mosionier
Foreword by Katherena Vermette
Afterword by Raven Sinclair
Imprint: HighWater Press

Categories: Fiction, Indigenous & Aboriginal, Coming of Age, Siblings, 20th Century
Paperback : 9781774920916, 272 pages, September 2023
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781774920923, 256 pages, October 2023
Ebook (PDF) : 9781774920930, 256 pages, October 2023

Rediscover Beatrice Mosionier’s groundbreaking classic with this 40th anniversary edition. Intimate, hopeful, and impossible to put down.


Memories. Some memories are elusive, fleeting, like a butterfly that touches down and is free until it is caught. Others are haunting. You'd rather forget them, but they won't be forgotten. And some are always there. No matter where you are, they are there, too.

In this moving story of legacy and reclamation, two young sisters are taken from their home and family. Powerless in a broken system, April and Cheryl are separated and placed in different foster homes. Despite the distance, they remain close, even as their decisions threaten to divide them emotionally, culturally, and geographically. As one sister embraces her Métis identity, the other tries to leave it behind.

Will the sisters’ bond survive as they struggle to make their way in a society that is often indifferent, hostile, and violent?

Beloved for more than 40 years, In Search of April Raintree is a timeless story that lingers long after the final page. This anniversary edition features a foreword by Governor General’s Award–winning author Katherena Vermette, and an afterword by University of Regina professor, Dr. Raven Sinclair (Ôtiskewâpit), an expert on Indigenous child welfare.


As an Indigenous kid who wanted to be a writer, Beatrice was one of the people who not only showed me what was possible, but opened doors for me, and other Indigenous writers, to do what we do today. In Search of April Raintree was the first book I read that spoke to the Indigenous experience, and it changed me for the better. It remains a vitally important work within the landscape of Canadian literature, and an example of how we tell our stories, and why we should never stop.

David A. Robertson

I first read In Search of April Raintree as a teenager. I was immediately pulled into this world that was so familiar, I could feel it in my blood memory. Because it was tender and brutal, authentic and unapologetic, heartbreaking and hopeful. Because an Indigenous woman wrote it. Because it was a story about Indigenous experience. Because it was a beautiful honouring of our survival and refusal to abandon our families, our cultures, our ceremonies. Beatrice Mosionier created magic for this brown girl and for brown girls everywhere.

Rosanna Deerchild

Few books have impacted my life and my visions of myself as Beatrice Mosionier’s April Raintree has. The book’s bravery, detail, and beautiful story of strength and growth—truth in the face of lies of the worst kind—were and are one of the most important gifts I and other Indigenous people have needed for this generation. That book has moved us forward as a people and has been a light during a very dark time for all of us.

Dr. Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair

Reading Beatrice Mosionier’s seminal novel was life-changing. As a young Indigenous  woman, it was the first time I felt seen. Represented. Reflected. As we celebrate the 40th  anniversary of In Search of April Raintree, we must continue to raise, uplift, and amplify the  voices of Indigenous women and girls, whose experiences, histories, and narratives have  been systemically silenced and erased. Miigwech.

Nahanni Fontaine

The first word in the novel In Search of April Raintree is “Memories.” I have a memory from decades ago of a visit with author Beatrice Mosionier, who handed me this manuscript with a request to help with some of the legal details of the story. In the end, this book—a true masterpiece in the history of all Indigenous literature—helped me. Like so many Indigenous people, this novel inspired me and called on me; it drove me to be a better lawyer, judge, and Anishinaabe person. I returned to it time and time again while working in the child welfare system, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Senate. Through the eyes of April, we are exposed to not only the deep and complicated struggles our people face but also the innate beauty and strength of Indigenous women, families, and communities who find paths of brilliance and solutions to colonialism every single day. I’ve often said that Indigenous people need heroes in our books and April Raintree is a hero for all of our people, for all time. 

The Honourable Murray Sinclair, Former Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

[An] influential Indigenous novel, Beatrice Mosionier's story of resilience, sisterly love and identity paved the way for Indigenous storytellers.

CBC Books

Honest and full of love, I am endlessly indebted to Beatrice Mosionier for lighting the way to my own stories. The space that this book cleared and prepared for so many other writers is now populated with many voices, all celebrating that we get to share space with one of the guiding lights that brought us home.

Cherie Dimaline, international best-selling author of The Marrow Thieves

Forty years on, In Search of April Raintree remains a groundbreaking novel.

Quill & Quire

[The] author’s seminal novel remains relevant even after 40 years. Heartbreaking and uplifting...a story that resonated mightily.


As crafted by Mosionier, April’s history shines a light on a place and its iniquities; and it exposes a citizenry, composed of the kindhearted and cruel, whose own journey to civility is far from complete.

Brett Josef Grubisic, The British Columbia Review