April's family tree- April had a heritage of mixed nationalities. Her father was "a little bit of this and a little bit of that and a whole lot of Indian." April's mother was part Irish and part Objibway. April inherited her mother's pale skin, while Cheryl inherited her father's darker skin. Tuberculosis- April lived in Norway House in northern Manitoba until her father contracted tuberculosis. Her family was then forced to move to Winnipeg. Here is a link to more information on tuberculosis. http://www.lungusa.org/diseases/lungtb.html
"Medicine"-April's parents referred to alcohol as "medicine". They told April and Cheryl that they were sick and that they took this medicine to make them "feel better". Already in the first chapter of the book we see subtle hints at racism. First, April commented on how some people were rude to her mother when she went places. Although it never directly says that racist comments were involved, it is inferred. Secondly, when April and Cheryl went to play in the park, the white kids and the native children were calling each other names. April's mom got fatter and fatter one year. She went to the hospital and came home with a new baby, named Anna. Anna was sick, however, and eventually the child and family services people came to pick up April and Cheryl since they did not feel that it was fit for them to live with their parents. April and Cheryl were taken to live with nuns until a foster home was found.
Cheryl and April got separated and placed in different foster homes. Cheryl went to live with the MacAdams family and April went to live with the Dions. Both families were very kind to the girls and they progressed rapidly. At the end of the chapter, Mrs. Dion gets sick so April must be moved to a new foster home. Chapter 3
April gets placed with a new foster family by the name of the DeRosiers. The mother and her children, Maggie and Ricky are very mean to April. They make her do all the house work and they refer to her as a "half breed". This makes April feel resentful to her heritage and she begins to look down on the fact that she is Métis. Cheryl on the other hand, has taken an interest in Métis history and looks up to her heritage with a sense of pride. April discovers that her parents weren't ever really sick and that they were actually just alcoholics, she doesn't tell this to Cheryl though. Chapter 4
In chapter 4 Cheryl comes to live with April at the DeRosiers. She stands up to the DeRosiers more than April ever did and as a result April becomes more aggressive as well. The DeRosier children didn't do as well as April and Cheryl in school. That was one of the only things that April and Cheryl could hold over the DeRosiers. Maggie and Ricky tried to play a trick on Cheryl one day. They told her that the dog, named Rebel was hurt. Cheryl went running into the field where the bull was in order to help Rebel. Unfortunately, the bull began chasing Cheryl and she was almost very badly wounded. Mr. DeRosier saw the whole incident and for the first time, stood up for April and Cheryl. Cheryl also had some trouble in school during this chapter. She argued in history class that the book was not correctly portraying the native people. She got a strapping from the principal and her hair cut off by Mrs. DeRosier. One day April and Cheryl social worker came for a visit. April thought that she was coming to take Cheryl away. April and Cheryl decided to run away. They were caught and Mrs. Semple gave them a speech on how the things they were doing now, such as lying, running away and feeling sorry for themselves was going to lead to thefy, pregnancy and prostitution one day. Chapter 5
In chapter 5, Maggie and Ricky start rumors about April. April loses all of her friends and the guidance counselor even confronts her about these things. Cheryl continues to be...