A Métis Man's Dream

Neil Gower


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Where there’s a Gill, there’s a way.

Gordon Gill is a gentle, hard-working Métis man whose journey began on his Iroquois-Cree grandfather’s trapline and evolved into a successful business career. His story is one of change and the passing of not just one, but several eras in the development of Canada’s North and the evolution of the Indigenous struggle. A Métis Man's Dream: From Traplines to Tugboats in Canada's North details the history he met, and made, along the way.

Vision, chance, and generosity played integral roles in Gill’s evolution from cook’s helper on the tugboat MV Malta to founding two groundbreaking companies, Northern Arc Shipbuilders and Northern Crane Services. Gill emerged and flourished despite challenging personal injuries, poverty, reading difficulties, and residential schooling. He weathered the ups and downs of northern conditions, the crush of Canada’s National Energy Policy, and changes in culture, economics, and opportunity with a resiliency and way of looking at things that is both visionary and resolutely Métis.

Gill is a man of many eras, having experienced many historic firsts and lasts, including experiencing the final days of the Indian Day School of Hay River, and directing the design and fabrication of the first short-throw tugboat in the NWT, the MT Gordon Gill. Neil Gower brings together all of this and more in his thoughtful, sensitive compilation of Gill’s remembrances of the changes he has seen in his lifetime.