The year is 1959, and fifteen-year-old Nipishish returns to his reserve in northern Quebec after being kicked out of residential school, where the principal tells him he can look forward, like all Native Americans, to a life of drunkenness, prison, and despair. But despite his new freedom, the reserve offers little to a young M tis man. Both his parents are dead, his father Shipu, a respected leader, dying mysteriously at a young age. When Nipishish is sent to a strange town to live with a white family and attend high school, he hopes for the new life the change promises. But despite some bright spots -- a simpatico teacher, a part-time job, a possible girlfriend -- the adjustments prove overwhelming. Forced to return to his people, he must try to rediscover the old ways, face the officials who find him a threat, and learn the truth about his father's death. Michel No l's vibrant writing brings Nipishish's story -- and the ongoing struggle of native communities -- to life in this powerful tale.