Duncan McCue's The Shoe Boy

The Beaver circles a small lake and begins its descent. I can see the cabin where we will live. Robbie and his sons built it from two-by-fours and plywood earlier in the summer. It has a shingle roof. There’s an outhouse beside the cabin. In front, a group of wooden poles stand in a pyramid, the skeleton of a miichiwaahp. A large green freighter canoe lays overturned on shore. 
— Duncan McCue, The Shoe Boy

Duncan McCue has recently released The Shoe Boy, a coming-of-age memior through Nonvella Press.

McCue, a longtime CBC reporter covering indigenous communities and other current affairs for over 15 years on Canadian TV and radio, is a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation in Southern Ontario. McCue is Anishinaabe.

The Shoe Boy was released earlier this year in June in both eBook and print editions.


At age 17, Duncan McCue spent five months in a hunting cabin with a James Bay Cree family. His coming-of-age memoir of those days is frank, funny and evocative. It’s also a beautiful sketch of the landscape and culture of the Cree— a nation still recovering from massive hydroelectric projects that flooded over 11,000 square kilometres of their traditional territory.

His story deftly entwines the challenges of identity for First Nations youth, the sexual frustration and hopeful confusion of the teenage years, and the realities of living in an enduring state of culture shock

You can buy the book from the publisher, Nonvella Press.

Read it? Let me know what you thought about it in the comments.