Irene Ternier Gordon

Irene signing

My name is Irene Ternier Gordon. I have had a keen interest in history since childhood. When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I came across the historical children’s novels of Manitoban Olive Knox. As a resident of the neighbouring province of Saskatchewan, I realized for the first time that books could be written about my part of the world and not just about the United States, England or even central Canada.

After high school I trained to become an elementary school teacher, but I soon decided that I would prefer to teach history. I obtained an Arts degree, specializing in Canadian history and English; however, I was unable to get a job teaching either history or English. As a result, I spent several years becoming qualified as a teacher-librarian and went on to spend 15 years working in a junior high school library.

At that point, having decided that I needed a change after 15 years, I began free-lance writing for various newspapers and magazines. I spent the next five years learning my craft before publishing my first book in 2003. I have published a total of nine books, six of which deal with some aspect of the fur trade.  Their titles are:

The Battle of Seven Oaks and the Violent Birth of the Red River Settlement

 Grey Owl: the Curious Life of Archie Belaney

  The Laird of Fort William: William McGillivray and the North West Company

  Letitia Hargrave: Mistress of York Factory

Marie-Anne Lagimodière: the Incredible Story of Louis Riel’s Grandmother

People of the Fur Trade: from Native Trappers to Chief Factors

A People on the Move: the Métis of the Western Plains

Sir Robert Borden: the Shy Guy Who Challenged an Empire

Tecumseh: Diplomat and Warrior in the War of 1812

I will be talking about most of my books in my Blog at some time; however, you can find information about them immediately by logging into my website at


In addition to my teaching and writing careers, I am a wife, mother of a son and a daughter, and grandmother to three grandsons. Because of my husband Don’s engineering career, we moved around frequently before his retirement. Both of us were raised in Saskatchewan and spent five years in Newfoundland before moving to Winnipeg in 1970. Since then we have briefly lived in Northern Manitoba, in Brazil and in Arizona. Between each of those moves, we returned to Winnipeg.  We made our final move in 1989 to the community of Headingley just west of Winnipeg along the historic Assiniboine River.


As you will have gathered, I have a special interest in the fur trade. I am particularly interested in the century between 1770 and 1870–from the beginnings of the North West Company to the formation of the province of Manitoba. Most of my Blogs will deal with some aspect of life during that time.

Print copies of all of my books and an e-book (e-pub version) of Letitia Hargrave: Mistress of York Factory  may be purchased through my website at: www.ireneterniergordon.ca

or by e-mailing me at:   author@ireneterniergordon.ca

Most of my books are also available as Kindle e-books from Amazon.