Neal McLeod is Cree (having grown up on the James Smith reserve in Saskatchewan) and Swedish. He had the fortunate opportunity to study abroad at the Swedish Art Academy at Umeå. Neal has exhibited his art work throughout Canada including the 2005 exhibition au fil de mes jours (in my lifetime) at Le Musée National des Beaux-arts du Quebec which was remounted at the Museum of Civilization in 2007.
Neal’s first book of poetry entitled Songs to Kill a Wîhtikow, was nominated for several Saskatchewan book awards including Book of the Year in 2005. It was nominated for Book of the Year at the Anskohk Aboriginal Literature Awards, and won the Poetry Book of the Year by unanimous decision of the jurors.
In 2007 Cree Narrative Memory was published, which was nominated for book of the year at the Anskohk Aboriginal Literature Awards. In the fall of 2008, he published his second book of poetry entitled Gabriel’s Beach. He also recently published Indigenous Poetics in Canada (Wilfrid Laurier University Press) for which he received the Gabrielle Roy Prize for literary theory and criticism.
The following books by Neal McLeod are in Press: mitêwâcimowina: Indigenous Science Fiction and Speculative Storytelling (Theytus Books), 100 Days of Cree (University of Regina Press), and cîhcêwêsin: new poetry from indigenous saskatchewan (Hagios Press). He is also working on: the life story of Noel Starblanket (Cree leader), a book of poetry called The Book of Ayâs, a retranslation of Plains Cree Texts, and a history of the Piapot Cree First Nation.
Neal currently lives in Kinistino, Saskatchewan.
Neechie Hustle takes place largely on the fictitious Broken Elbow First Nation in Saskatchewan. The novel provides a satirical look at the Indian Act and also looks at the emergence of neechie swagger of the late 1960s and 1970s. The rise of Pinokineechie, a wooden Indian, sees the expansion of Chief’s Fried Chicken, with Crees dancing at Studio 54. The Senator, who narrates the story, helps bring balance back to the bannock force and to the Broken Elbow reserve.