Mattie Mitchell: Newfoundland's Greatest Frontiersman by Gary Collins is an adventure story from award-winning author Gary Collins: Newfoundland’s Favourite Storyteller!
“There is a feeling that comes to one who goes unafraid into the wilderness. For the very few who experience it comes a sense of belonging; of being a fragile part of the mysterious whole; of profound peace; of wanting never to leave,” says Gary Collins in describing the inspiration that overtook him when he penned the final pages in this, the biography of Mattie Mitchell, a hunter, trapper, and guide of Mi’kmaq descent whose daring feats became known worldwide, but which history books somehow forgot.
In researching the life and times of Mattie Mitchell, critically acclaimed author Gary Collins (author of the award-winning What Colour is the Ocean?) gleaned much insight on his subject from the diary and other personal papers of Marie Sparkes, granddaughter to the remarkable Mi’kmaq woodsman. Now, for the first time, Mattie Mitchell's legendary deeds are revealed in full, comprehensive detail.
In 1998, the government of Newfoundland and Labrador recognized Mattie Mitchell’s contribution to the growth and prosperity of the province by opening its Mattie Mitchell Prospectors Resource Room. In 2001, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada recognized Mattie Mitchell as a person of national historic significance. In 2005, a plaque in Mattie Mitchell’s honour was placed in Gros Morne National Park.
About the Author:
Gary Collins was born in a small, two-storey house by the sea in the town of Hare Bay, Bonavista North. He finished school at Brown Memorial High in the same town. He spent forty years in the logging and sawmilling business with his father, Theophilus, and son Clint. Gary was once Newfoundland’s youngest fisheries guardian. He managed log drives down spring rivers for years, spent seven seasons driving tractor-trailers over ice roads and the Beaufort Sea of Canada’s Western Arctic, and has been involved in the crab, lobster, and cod commercial fisheries.
His writing career began when he was asked to write eulogies for deceased friends and family. He spent a full summer employed as a prospector before he wrote Soulis Joe’s Lost Mine; he liked the work so much, he went back to school to earn his prospecting certificate. A critically acclaimed author, he has written a total of six books, including Cabot Island, The Last Farewell, Soulis Joe’s Lost Mine, Where Eagles Lie Fallen, and the children’s illustrated book What Colour is the Ocean?, which he co-wrote with his granddaughter, Maggie Rose Parsons. The latter won an Atlantic Book Award: The Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration.
Gary Collins is Newfoundland and Labrador’s favourite storyteller, and today he is known all over the province as “The Story Man.” His favourite pastimes are reading and writing, and playing guitar at his log cabin. He lives in Hare Bay, Newfoundland, with his wife, the former Rose Gill. They have three children and three grandchildren.