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Friday, 10 January 2020 19:05

A Publication Anniversary


Publication Anniversary: A Conversation with Smokii Sumac

Just one year ago, Smokii Sumac launched his debut poetry collection, you are enough: love poems for the end of the world, and it’s been quite an amazing year! Smokii has done numerous readings and author events, and the book has had a wonderful reception. In June, it won the Indigenous Voices Award in Published Poetry in English!

 On the anniversary of his book launch in Invermere, BC, we thought we would get in touch with Smokii and ask how things are going for him and his writing now!

 Kegedonce Press: What are you doing now? Are you still writing poetry?

 Smokii Sumac: I am now grateful to have accepted a teaching position at College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, BC as the Indigenous Studies Instructor here! While I did take a bit of a break from writing when the book came out, I am grateful to say that I am getting back into the practice and feeling the call of poetry lately, and I've even recently applied to a summer residency to work on a new collection! (Please keep your fingers crossed for me, as I will hear back sometime this month.) 

KP: What has changed for you, with regards to poetry and writing, since publishing you are enough?

SS: Honestly, it still sometimes almost doesn't feel real that I have a book in the world. I think the one major change I've noticed is the reach of my work. I received an email from someone who had found my book in Springfield, Illinois, and I have folks who have taken pictures of my book as it travelled with them to places like Iceland and the Bahamas! And the other day, I was going into a yoga class and noticed a woman sort of staring at me. When I met her eyes she said something along the lines of "I'm sorry, but I follow you on Instagram and have your book and I'm such a fan! I'm kind of star struck right now!" These are things I could never have imagined, and I'm still surprised every time they happen. 

KP: What role does your poetry play for you, either in your life or out there in the world (or both)?

SS: I recently posted a new poem online and a reader (who is also a poet) commented that they wanted to print it out and carry it with them. "You've gifted a full moment here...This is what poetry is supposed to do, I think." This comment meant a lot to me, because I understood it. I think that poetry allows us to stop and consider the world for a second. Some poetry allows us to consider language. Some allows us to consider a new perspective. Some connects us to a universal feeling that perhaps we didn't have words for before. For me, I am always looking for poems that make me feel seen. That is what I hope my work does for people. The few times that readers or audience members have shared what my work has given them, that is what poetry can do. It can save a life. It can change a life. It can create a life. 

KP: What is the most surprising or enlightening thing you’ve learned through your process of writing poetry?

SS: Maybe that practice works? This is kind of the only thing I can think of. When I started this process I was writing a poem a day and posting it to social media. It was a fun thing, at first; it was a way to get myself writing. And then, at some point I found myself with two years of work. Work that I was able to curate into my first collection. I know it's a cliché now to say "Practice makes perfect," and if I'm honest, I'm never aiming for perfection (I would have never published anything if I was trying to make it perfect! Some poems feels like they'll never be finished!), but I do recognize that when you make something a practice; when you are practicing poetry for example, well, that is when I think you can call yourself a poet. Or, at least, that's when I know I am a poet: when I am in the midst of writing a poem. 

 SS: Thank you to everyone who has supported you are enough: love poems for the end of the world. It has been a beautiful year, and I am honoured and excited to continue writing work that I hope will help you feel seen for many years to come. 

 You can find more information about you are enough: love poems for the end of the world here, where you can also order a copy!

 And check out these great reviews and articles about Smokii’s book!

All Lit Up’s feature, Poetry in Motion  
Open Book’s Interview with Smokii  
Muskrat Magazine’s review 
Review in Transmotion Journal  

 Smokii at the Indigenous Voices Awards



Thursday, 29 August 2019 12:16



i am femme, i am fireweed

FireweedTunchai Redvers's debut poetry collection, explores the rawness, trauma, and realities of adolescence compounded with the experience of being a young, Indigenous, and two-spirit intergenerational residential school survivor. Rooted in the symbolism and growth of fireweed, a flower native to the northwest of Canada, this collection takes readers through the hurt, healing, love, and spreading that encompassed the first 23 years of the author’s attempt to find truth, safety and connection. Redvers dedicates her book to Indigenous youth, Indigenous women, and two-spirit people who are quite literally dying to not only have relevant content and support available to them, but content and support that is healing and hopeful.



TUNCHAI REDVERSPraise for Fireweed: 

"Having grown up witnessing the miracle of fireweed springing up to cover mountains blackened from forest fires, I could not think of a better title for this collection. Tunchai brings us into a world where all has been burned, where everything hurts, and where it's safest for a two-spirit person to stay "closeted." Then, among the smoke and ashes, she weaves poems of healing, and we can feel the roots take hold. With this work, Tunchai sends those roots deep into the earth, and brings forth colour back into the world, lighting up the darkness, transforming destruction into fields of bright pinks and purples against summer blue skies: "i am queer always / i am dene always / i am colonial resistance" writes Tunchai, and I breathe in the renewal of a forest beginning again, of Indigenous 2SQ brilliance, of a returning to ourselves. Each poem in this book brings medicine for all of us who have been hurt, broken, burned. There is hope, there is healing, there is space to begin again, and Tunchai's poetry shows us the way."
—Smokii Sumac (Ktunaxa) author of you are enough: love poems for the end of the world

"Tunchai’s Fireweed is a gift – to the youth she once was, to the women she walks with today, to the society she lives within. Open and gentle, it is poetry that carries truth in its raw plea for self-acceptance, in the deep contentment of self-love, and through the fire of taking up her rightful space as an Indigenous woman, as a Two-Spirit person, as a femme calling out for change, awareness and growth."
—Tenille Campbell, author of #IndianLovePoems

"Tunchai Redvers gives us the voice, the words, and the worlds, we never knew we needed. Her poetry dances with vulnerability and agency unlike anyone I have ever read."
—Ryan McMahon, Comedian, Writer, Maker of Media Things.



Red Works Photography Tunchai Redvers, known to spirit as White Feather Woman, is a two-spirit social justice warrior, writer, and wanderer belonging to Deninu K’ue First Nation. With Dene, Métis and Scottish roots on her maternal side and English, Italian and Irish roots on her paternal side, she was born and raised in Treaty 8 territory, Northwest Territories. Now living in southern Ontario, she is the co-founder of We Matter, a national organization dedicated to Indigenous youth hope and life promotion. Recognized nationally and internationally for her work, her advocacy and writing centers the reclamation and indigenization of identity, mental health and healing. She spends most of her time resisting, loving, and travelling across territories, and considers herself a nomad just like her ancestors. She finds safety in the words: be proud of who you are, be thankful for those who love and guide you, and never forget where you came from.

Check out these articles about Tunchai and Fireweed:

CBC: N.W.T. Indigenous youth advocate publishes first book of poetry

CBC Radio: Fireweed: a book of poems

All Lit Up blog: On Activism and Poetry: An Interview with Tunchai Redvers

Open Book Summer Newsletter: Tunchai's "Dirty Dozen"



Thursday, 22 August 2019 16:35

End of Summer Special

Gregory Scofield's Love Medicine and One Song available now at a special price!

Love Medicine and One Song is a deliciously luscious collection of love poetry, blended beautifully with stories of Cree language and culture. In many ways, the book itself is a love letter to the Cree language, which appears in many of the poems' lines. 

In his introduction to the collection, Warren Cariou writes that "Gregory Scofield's work is renowned for its musicality, its deep connections to Cree and Métis traditions, and its sensual descriptions of both the human and the natural world." Cariou enjoins the reader to "read these poems aloud. Tast their syllables on your tongue, feel the rhythms in your body."

Here we find a gorgeous blending of Cree tradition with a love that both transcends and celebrates body and gender. In "My Drum, His Hand" (p. 25),  the poet writes,

over the bones, over the bones
stretched taught
my skin, the drum

softly he pounds

as black birds dance,
their feathers
gliding over lips, they drink
the stars
from my eyes
depart like sun
making way for moon
to sing, to sing
my sleeping

my sleeping song
the sky bundle

he carries me to dreams, 
his hands wet and gleaming

my drum aching




Wednesday, 07 August 2019 13:00

A Publication Anniversary

We check in with poet Jules Arita Koostachin on the one-year anniversary of the publication of 
Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths

This month, August 2019, is the first anniversary of the publication of Jules Arita Koostachin’s debut book of poetry, Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths. This deeply moving and emotional collection is written in a style Koostachin calls “broken poetry.” It is a working-through of thoughts and feelings and a process of healing from intergenerational trauma in the voice of the daughter of a residential school survivor. Now a mother, she uses the power of words, dreams, and the teachings of her ancestors, to draw her family together and ground them in hope.

Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths was nominated for the 2019 Indigenous Voices Award in Published Poetry in English.

In addition to writing, Jules is working on her PhD, and is an accomplished filmmaker. Her most recent projects include OshKiKiShiKaw: New Day (2019), OChiSkwaCho (2018), and NiiSoTeWak: Two Bodies, One Heart (2017). Check out her bio and CBC film projects here.

On the anniversary of her book's publication, we thought we would check back with Jules to see what she is up to.

Kegedonce Press: What are you doing now? Are you still writing? Writing poetry?

Jules Arita Koostachin: Currently, I'm working towards finishing my next draft of my PhD dissertation and I'm also working on my new memoir, entitled Moccasin Souls. Once I free up some time in the winter, I will start another poetry manuscript. 

KP: Do your poetry and filmmaking/scriptwriting intersect in any way?

JAK: Indeed, all my projects intersect, I love stories that derive from a place of truth, and I enjoy finding ways in which our stories can transpire organically. I'm a visual person, and when I'm gifted with story I allow it to take me on a journey. 

KP: What are the specific themes in your work, either your poetry or filmmaking, or both?

JAK: My work is very personal, which at times can be challenging. For the most part, I take myself back to my memories of living with my grandparents on my ancestral lands.

KP: What messages do you hope your art will convey? 

JAK: I'm so very proud of being a Cree woman, so my hope is that this incredible pride I carry in my work helps heal those who are grappling with pain and disconnect. We are a strong and resilient people, and we are still here!Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths

Read more about Jules and her book in these online articles:

All Lit Up feature, “Writer’s Block”

Muskrat Magazine

Ontario Book Publisher's Organization Newsletter

Order a copy of Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths here!

Tunchai Redvers’ debut collection of poetry, Fireweed, is a powerfully inspiring expression of adolescent experiences through the eyes of a young two-spirit Indigenous woman. It is dedicated to Indigenous youth, Indigenous women, and two-spirit people, offering them content and support that is both healing and hopeful. Tunchai, known to spirit as White Feather Woman, regards herself as a two-spirit social justice warrior, writer, and wanderer of the Deninu K’ue First Nation. She is also the co-founder of We Matter, a national multi-media campaign designed to gather positive messages from people across the country, to offer support for Indigenous youth who are going through a hard time.

We wanted to get to know a little more about Tunchai, so we asked her a few questions about herself as a poet, her writing, and her activism.

Kegedonce Press: Do you think of yourself as a poet? Have you always?

Tunchai Redvers: I have struggled with calling myself a poet, which comes from feelings of imposter syndrome that tend to creep up. I don't have the technical knowledge, so to speak, around forms of poetry - and sometimes it can feel as though your poetry is invalid when you start to compare it, and your knowledge of it, with others. This is a super harmful way of thinking of your art and expression though, so I am constantly reminding myself that my writing - in whatever shape or form it takes - is a valid form of poetry. I interchange by calling myself a poet and a writer, as writer feels to emcompass a broader form of expression. I write poetry, prose, and perform some spoken word, but I also love to write in general, whether it be essays, blog style pieces, thoughts and musings, articles. Poetry, specifically, I loved to write growing up in my middle and high school years, and was published in a couple student contest collections. But then there was a long period into my undergrad years where I stopped writing poetry. I still loved to write, though it was mostly limited to academia. There was a part of me that shut off, and was afraid to touch poetry or expressive writing, for fear of what would come out, I think. When I found it again, the bulk of Fireweed came out. So, yeah, I'm a poet, and anyone else who wants to call themselves a poet but is afraid to, you're a poet too.

KP: Is writing therapeutic? If so, how so? If not, how does writing serve you?

TR: Writing is absolutely therapeutic for me - through it, I am able to express myself in a way I am otherwise unable to. I do a lot of public speaking, and would say I am good at it, and enjoy it, but I am unable to articulate myself in the way I can when I write. I am a spirit and emotion-led person, so I find that core part of me is able to come through a lot clearer on paper. I tend to stumble over my thoughts and words when I speak, and writing feels more natural. When I write, I can give life to my frustration, sadness, anger, pain, heartbreak, reflections, inspiration, learnings, and joy. They speak to me, I can look at them, let go of them, sit with them, or bask in them. I had a visit home to the NWT last Christmas, and I went through some poetry from when I was younger for the first time in a while, and I was actually so blown away - by the feelings I was expressing at that age. I came across a poem from a grade 8 or 9 class, and was like "oh my", I'm surprised the teacher did not report this. Writing is an amazing, healthy, and safe way to unpack, untangle, and express all that inner stuff we have coursing through us. For me, it has and continues to be a form of coping, healing, and self-care. And is actually something I facilitate workshops around, with the Indigenous youth work I do. 

KP: What is your poetry against? What changes would you like it to make in the world?

TR: Ouf. I could write for days and days about the changes I would make in the world, to a point where it's actually super overwhelming. My poetry is AGAINST colonialism, ultimately. It is against injustice, hetero-patriarchy, self-harm. It is against the hardness in this world. I write to understand colonialism's impact on me, my life, my family, my communities, the people I care about. I also write to understand my own inner workings and insecurities. Angry writing is often my favourite - I'll hear a story, read an article, or experience something that has to do with violence and injustice, and I put that social-justice driven anger into my own words. If I were to boil down all of the changes I wish to see or make in this world, I think it would come out as, tenderness and awareness. If everyone was a little more tender and aware, I believe this world would be a much better place for all of us. Tenderness in terms of tapping into that place of love, care, compassion, and vulnerability; awareness in terms of intrapersonal and interpersonal awareness. 

KP: How was Pride this year?

TR: Pride month was a busy, busy month! I have two-sided feelings about Pride though - on one hand, I'm feeling as though Pride has become another marketable thing. Companies, institutions, and businesses are now using Pride as another form of capitalism, with trendy ads and trendy items. Yet very few of them are actually supporting the 2SLGBTIQA+ community, or funneling any of that revenue back into the community. It would be nice if these companies and institutions promoted the same level of diversity and visibility they do during Pride, year round. We don't just exist one month, week, day a year. That being said, Pride is an exciting time for me, because of all the gay in the air! It's a time for community to come together, as there tends to be more spaces for us (in Toronto, at least). I'm also a drag king, so I performed quite a bit during Pride month here, which is something I love doing. There are very few of us Indigenous drag kings, so I'm very proud to rep my long braid and exist in spaces where we have never really been able to exist. 
Fireweed is coming soon from Kegedonce Press!

Kegedonce is proud to congratulate Smokii Sumac, winner of the 2019 Indigenous Voices Award for Published Poetry in English! 

Smokii's book, You are Enough: love poems for the end of the world is a debut poetry collection published by Kegedonce in December 2018. In it, Smokii curates a selection of works from two years of a near daily poetry practice. What began as a sort of daily online poetry journal using the hashtag #haikuaday, has since transformed into a brilliant collection of storytelling drawing upon Indigenous literary practice, and inspired by works like Billy Ray Belcourt's This Wound is a World, and Tenille Campbell's #IndianLovePoems.  With sections dealing with recovery from addiction and depression, coming home through ceremony, and of course, as the title suggests, on falling in and out of love, Sumac brings the reader through two years of life as a Ktunaxa Two-Spirit person. This collection addresses the grief of being an Indigenous person in Canada, shares timely (and sometimes hilarious) musings on consent, sex, and gender, and through it all, helps us come to know that we are enough, just as we are. 

Smokii Sumac is a proud member of the Ktunaxa nation. He is a PhD Candidate in Indigenous Studies at Trent University where his research centres on "coming home" stories from a Ktunaxa adoptee and two-spirit perspective. Smokii’s work has been published in Write Magazine, and under his former name (he is a man of many names) in Canadian Literature, Aanikoobijigan//Waawaashkeshi and on coffee sleeves as one of the winners of Peterborough's e-city lit’s artsweek contest in 2014. He currently shares his time between Nogojiwanong (Peterborough), and Ithaca, NY.

Kegedonce would also like to congratulate Jules Arita Koostachin, whose book Unearthing Secrets, Gathering Truths was shortlisted for the same prize! Jules's poetry offers a glimpse into the life and the healing of an lnnininew woman from the ancestral lands of the Moshkekowok, now called Northern Ontario. It is through the process of writing broken poetry; visual poetry rooted in the haunting memories of her childhood, that she provides the reader a glimpse into the mind of child survivor who was saved by her ancestors. This thought-provoking poetry sheds light on a personal account of how she comes to terms with intergenerational trauma inflicted by the residential school system. Through the honesty of her words, she embraces the spirit world, the resilience of her foremothers, the integral healing powers of disassociation as a survival mechanism, and the richness of her mitewin – dreams, which reconnect her to herself. Through her poetry, she has found the courage to face her difficult past, and now as a mother, she is gathering the truths of her family to help in the healing process.

The Indigenous Voices Awards or IVAs, now in their second year, were awarded at a gala on Tuesday evening at the UBC First Nations House of Learning Longhouse, Vancouver.

Monday, 17 December 2018 18:58


by Smokii Sumac

this one is simply
for all of our love which can
never be wrong

In his debut poetry collection you are enough: love poems for the end of the world, Smokii Sumac has curated a selection of works from two years of a near daily poetry practice. What began as a sort of daily online poetry journal using the hashtag #haikuaday, has since transformed into a brilliant collection of storytelling drawing upon Indigenous literary practice, and inspired by works like Billy Ray Belcourt's This Wound is a World, and Tenille Campbell's #IndianLovePoems.  With sections dealing with recovery from addiction and depression, coming home through ceremony, and of course, as the title suggests, on falling in and out of love, Sumac brings the reader through two years of life as a Ktunaxa Two-Spirit person. This collection will move you as Sumac addresses the grief of being an Indigenous person in Canada, shares timely (and sometimes hilarious) musings on consent, sex, and gender, introduces readers to people and places he has loved and learned from, and through it all, helps us all come to know that we are enough, just as we are. 


“In his debut collection of poetry, you are enough, Smokii Sumac offers our tired souls refuge, nourishment and hope in tiny successive bursts of light."
—Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, author of This Accident of Being Lost

“We live in a time of emboldened cruelty, in a time when love and belonging seem ever more imperilled and fragile, when the basic humanity of those who live and love outside the bounds of settler-colonial certainty are once again under siege. These are difficult days, but just as I struggle to find hope I pick up Smokii Sumac’s work and find not just balm for the spirit but kindling for the fire. Laughter, pain, desire, rage, remembrance—this book is a gift, an honouring, a call to arms and, even more importantly, a call to love. I’m so very grateful for this transformative collection. We need Smokii’s words and wisdom now more than ever."
—Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation), author of Why Indigenous Literatures Matter


Smokii Sumac is a proud member of the Ktunaxa nation. He is a PhD Candidate in Indigenous Studies at Trent University where his research centres on "coming home" stories from a Ktunaxa adoptee and two-spirit perspective. Smokii’s work has been published in Write Magazine, and under his former name (he is a man of many names) in Canadian Literature, Aanikoobijigan//Waawaashkeshi and on coffee sleeves as one of the winners of Peterborough's e-city lit’s artsweek contest in 2014. He currently shares his time between Nogojiwanong (Peterborough), and Ithaca, NY.

that tongued belonging by Marilyn Dumont

Winner of the 2007 McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award and the 2007 Anskohk Aboriginal Poetry Book of the Year.

that tongued belonging by award-winning Métis poet Marilyn Dumont, is a poetry collection which searches for acceptance in language, culture, love, and geographical landscapes. These poems celebrate the humour and tenacity of Indigenous women, lament the death of a mother, deride the political correctness of those ignorant of Indigenous issues, recall the degradation of Indigenous women, and chide the writer against the seduction of pop stardom, while challenging accepted ideas of love, age and femininity.

“Marilyn Dumont articulates, touches and settles the nerve of Cree. The reader wanders through the patched quilt life of families, of communities, of relatives and of the Cree nation itself. Always, we are immersed in ancient Cree ways as expressed in the Cree-borrowed English. Brilliantly and lyrically presented we are forever reminded that Cree culture, Cree people have not been eradicated, quite the contrary. Through Dumont’s that tongued belonging we celebrate the renaissance, the transformation and the continuation of the poetics, being, and heroism of the Cree.”  —Lee Maracle, author, Bobbi Lee, Indian Rebel, and Will’s Garden.

Daniel Heath Justice's fantasy trilogy,

Kynship, Wyrwood, and Dreyd

The Way of Thorn and Thunder Trilogy: Kynship, Wyrwood, and Dreyd. An epic story of a struggle for the Everland, a green land of ancient mystery and danger, and the forest home of the Kyn. These three remarkable novels tell the story of Tarsa'deshae, a fearless Kyn warrior trained in the Redthorn ways of battle and blood. Tarsa is swept into the struggle between those Folk who would embrace the promises of Men, and those who would hold fast to the rooted understandings of the Eld Green. In beautifully crafted language, these stories break the stereotypes of both Indigeneity and gender, and serve as a powerful allegory for Indigenous history. Award-winning author Daniel Heath Justice has masterfully created a world of magic, adventure and heroism that rivals the classic fantasy of Tolkien and Le Guin.

"There is action and adventure aplenty in this epic tale of conflict between Humans and other-wordly Kyn, but there is something deeper as well. Like the magic that imbues his imagined world of spirit-trees and talking beasts, a true sense of wonder and enchantent wells up through Daniel Heath Justice's words. This is a realm that fantasy fans can immerse themselves in, and return to again and again, a realm that feels at once fresh and new, yet old as the oldest myth."
--Alison Baird, author of The Hidden World.

"Justice has created a fantasy epic so rich in history and so complex with all of its inhabitants and mystery that you're never going to want The Way of Thorn and Thunder to end. What a treasure for anyone looking for heroes and adventure in a series based on Aboriginal philosophy and wisdom."
--Richard Van Camp, author of Angel Wing Splash Pattern.

"I remember being completely astounded by it when I read the manuscript. There were so many elements that were exciting and innovative and that resonated with me as an Indigenous reader: the powerful female warrior protagonist, the belief system underlying the Kyn, the subversion of the 'boldly go where no man has gone before' tropes, the way that gender and sexuality are portrayed in such a natural and accepting way that is consistent with Indigenous cultural concepts, the power of the natural and supernatural. I felt validated and excited by all of that. I was also awed by the depth and magnitude of the world Daniel created in such incredible detail. It feels real and alive. When I finished reading it I remember thinking that it was why I started Kegedonce Press -- to provide a stage for beautiful, inspiring, Indigenous literature that is grounded in Indigeneity, that decolonizes, and that is meticulously and lovingly crafted."
--Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm, founder of Kegedonce Press.  

Angel Wing Splash Pattern by Richard Van Camp

Explore the healing going on in Indian country. There is pain in these stories and there is loss. There is death, but there is also rebirth, and there is always the search from each of the narrators for personal truth. Readers will recognize Larry Sole from The Lesser Blessed in his story "How I Saved Christmas," and there are new voices here, new secrets from new characters in communities across the north and the south, yet they are all linked by themes of hope, the spirit of friendship, and hunger. 

Angel Wing Splash Pattern is a Canadian National Bestseller.

Author Richard Van Camp is a proud member of the Tlicho Dene from Fort Smith, NWT. He is a graduate of the En'owkin International School of Writing, the University of Victoria's Creative Writing BFA Program, and the Master's Degree in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. He is an internationally renowned storyteller and best-selling author of 22 books. His novel, The Lesser Blessed, is now a feature film with First Generation Films and premiered in September of 2012 at the Toronto International Film Festival. 

Praise for Angel Wing Splash Pattern

“The depth of Richard's writing is phenomenal." - Carol Rose Daniels, author of Bearskin Diary.

 "Richard Van Camp uncovers truths in his fiction, his work so electric alive with human experience it sings and hollers, whispers seductively, cries, moans, chuckles. His voice is young and old at the same time, the double vision of a deep talent, a fearless intellect. His stories are a new territory of his own making, a powerful place of sex and love and compassion and forgiveness." - Susan Power, author of The Grass Dancer and Roofwalker

 "Van Camp has a real respect for the sacred and the profane in these close-to-the-bone stories. People take on their difficult lives with spunk and a sense of humour, and, perhaps more importantly, he engenders an irrepressible sense of hope where the prognosis might otherwise be bleak." - Malahat Review Fall 2002 issue by Lucy Bashford.


  • 2015
    • R. Ross Arnett Award for Children's Literature for Little You
  • 2013
    • Georges Bugnet award for Godless but Loyal to Heaven (Enfield & Wizenty)
  • 2012
    • Northern Journal's "News-maker of the Year"
    • Up Here Magazine's "Northerner of the Year"
  • 2006 - 2007
    • Wordcraft Storyteller of the Year for "The Greatest Storytelling in Canada and the US" at the annual Returning the Gift conference held at Michigan State University by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers
  • 2001
    • Jugendileraturpries Award, the highest award for a translation awarded by the German government for The Lesser Blessed (Translated by Ulrich Plezdorf)
  • 1999 - 2000
    • Canadian Children's Book Center "Our Choice" recommended list For What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses
  • 1999
    • Writer of the Year Award for Children's Literature by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers for A Man Called Raven
  • 1997
    • Canadian Authors Association Air Canada Award, honoring a young (under 30) Canadian writer deemed to show the most promise for the future in the field of literary creation 


  • 2013
    • Finalist for the Western Magazine for the short story "Devotion"
  • 2010
    • ReLit Award for The Moon of Letting Go
    • Western Magazine Award, nominated by Prairie Fire for the short story "Dypthia”



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