Everything you need to understand or teach Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden.
Joseph Boyden artfully examines the lives of a Native American family as they deal with a rapidly changing world around them. Xavier Bird is a Cree man who has just returned to Canada from fighting in World War One. His aunt Niska, whom he never thought he would see again, has come to paddle him down the river on their three-day journey home during which Xavier fights his morphine addiction and the memories from the war that threaten to overwhelm him. Niska fights to keep her nephew alive, knowing that he is the last in the line of a very special family. This war novel weaves a gripping tale of friendship, love and the destruction that war wreaks on the men who wage it.