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The Ânskohk Aboriginal Literature Festival was created to showcase the diversity of writing by Aboriginal authors, to educate the general population about the richness of Aboriginal literature, and to promote further understanding of Aboriginal peoples. The Ânskohk Festival is designed to appeal to a broad audience.


Betty Ann Adam

Betty Ann Adam is a member of Fond du Lac Denesuline Nation, an intergenerational survivor of the Indian Residential School system and a child of the Sixties Scoop.
She co-wrote, with director Tasha Hubbard, the 2017 National Film Board of Canada documentary, Birth of a Family, which recorded the first gathering of her and her siblings.
Betty Ann was a staff reporter with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix for 29 years.

Her feature article, Scooped: How I lost my mother, found my family and
recovered my identity won the 2018 Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Best Long Feature. It was reprinted in the Readers Digest and in the 2019 anthology Out of the Shadows Volume One: Stories of Sixties Scoop Warriors, edited by Dr. Jacqueline Marie Maurice.

Betty Ann now does freelance writing and communications work. She is Co-chair of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan (SSISS), which works to represent and serve survivors.


Axis has a spoken word style that’s rhythmic, thought provoking, and non conforming. From a young age Axis experimented with creative writing and poetry styles. She aims for her body of work to remain consistently about deeper issues and taboos that plague society. As an empath she wants her work to bring more compassion to ourselves and ultimately our world. Having struggled to let her poetry meet her voice for many years. Axis is ready to share her soul with those willing to listen. In hopes that we can all be inspired to give voice to our own passions. Axis has a mixture of European and Indigenous Ancestry. She has roots in her rural community of Eagles Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan. Her Indigenous roots are maternal and run deeper north to Treaty 10 Canoe Lake Cree First Nation and Metis Community Ile-a-la Crosse.

Jesse Archibald-Barber

Jesse Archibald-Barber is from oskana kâ-asastêki and is a professor of Indigenous Literatures at the First Nations University of Canada. He has edited the award-winning anthology kisiskâciwan: Indigenous Voices from Where the River Flows Swiftly, and is a founding producer and co-writer of the Making Treaty 4 performance. His recent work includes co-editing Performing Turtle Island: Indigenous Theatre on the World Stage, and he is currently working on a new performance project called Beneath the Starry Map.

Billy-Ray Belcourt

Billy-Ray Belcourt is from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He is a PhD candidate and 2018 PE Trudeau Foundation Scholar in the Dept. of English & Film Studies at the University of Alberta. His books are THIS WOUND IS A WORLD (Frontenac, 2017), winner of the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize, NDN COPING MECHANISMS: NOTES FROM THE FIELD (House of Anansi, Sept. 2019), and the forthcoming A HISTORY OF MY BRIEF BODY (Hamish Hamilton, May 2020).

photo by Tenille Campbell

Wilfred Burton

Wilfred Burton grew up in the Midnight Lake area of Saskatchewan and for over thirty years taught in La Loche, Regina, and Saskatoon, ranging from kindergarten to the post-secondary levels. Wilfred is currently retired, but spends his time volunteering or doing contract work for various school divisions, tribal councils, and publishers.

His love of Métis storytelling, fiddle music, and dance was a gift from his mother, Georgina Nolin, and is a gift he loves to share with others through his picture books.

Tenille K Campbell

Tenille K Campbell is a Dene/Métis author from English River First Nation in Northern Saskatchewan. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing from UBC and is enrolled in her PhD at University of Saskatchewan. Her inaugural poetry book, #IndianLovePoems, is an award-winning collection of poetry that focuses on Indigenous Erotica – using humour and storytelling to reclaim and explore ideas of Indigenous sexuality. She is also the artist behind sweetmoon photography and the co-creator of the women’s blog, tea&bannock.

Doug Cuthand

Mr. Cuthand has made it his mission in life to bridge gaps between all cultures and to educate the people of Saskatchewan and Canada on who we are as Indigenous people. Doug was the host of a weekly current affairs show “Indigenous Circle” and now has a weekly column for Saskatoon’s Star Phoenix newspaper and the Regina Leader Post newspaper. In doing so, he successfully captures the current issues facing First Nations and Métis people of our province. In 1987 Doug began documentary work and started Blue Hill Productions. Over the years Blue Hill has grown to become one of the leading First Nations production companies in the country, with a long list of awards and accomplishments.

Moira Day

Moira Day is a professor of drama at the University of Saskatchewan. She is of English, Irish, and Scottish descent and was born in Edmonton, Alberta. As a scholar/teacher she recognizes the importance of decolonizing and reconciling in freeing people from earlier, more restrictive definitions of art and humanity in the process of recognizing, in Maria Campbell’s words, that we share a world where all our children are of different colours now, sometimes even within the same family.

Leah Dorion

Leah Marie Dorion, of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, is a Métis artist, author, curriculum developer, lecturer, and researcher. For eight years, she was employed in the Gabriel Dumont Institute’s Publishing Department as a Curriculum Developer and as Publishing Coordinator. She has written and illustrated several books, including Métis Camp Circle, Métis Christmas Mittens, My First Métis Lobstick, The Diamond Willow Walking Stick: A Traditional Métis Story About Generosity, Relatives With Roots: A Story about Métis Women’s Connection to the Land, and The Giving Tree: A Retelling of a Traditional Métis Story. Leah is a visual artist, and an instructor at the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program (SUNTEP) in Prince Albert.

Tristen Durocher

Tristen Durocher is a self-taught fiddle player whose home base has been both La Ronge and Buffalo Narrows, Saskatchewan. He started playing fiddle at the age of 9 after his grandfather, who also played fiddle, passed away. He learned to play by listening to his grandfather play on a recording. Tristen started to grow as a fiddle player after attending the John Arcand Fiddle Fest in Saskatoon, where both Métis and other fiddle styles are taught and celebrated. He enjoys sharing his music in schools and at the special events for which his fiddle playing prowess is sought. More recently, he competed in the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Competition, which invited over 35 of Canada’s top fiddle players to be contestants. Tristen finished in 9th place and was also voted in as the Peoples’ Choice contestant.


Janelle “ecoaborijanelle” Pewapsconias is a nehīyaw iskwēw from Little Pine First Nation, Treaty 6 Territory. Janelle is a new spoken word performer who shares her stories and nehīyaw (Plains Cree) perspectives, cultural teachings, and language. She writes about colonialism, patriarchy, and power imbalance, and the impacts that she experienced from these major underlying issues and inequalities in this territory. ecoaborijanelle uses her microphone to amplify her truth, and in doing so, shifts consciousness and brings justice with her slam poetry prowess. She speaks from the experience of an Indigenous woman, but reminds everyone that her perspective does not represent all of Turtle Island’s Indigenous people.

Carol Rose GoldenEagle

Carol Rose GoldenEagle is a Saskatchewan Author of award-winning novel BEARSKIN DIARY.   Her work has been previously published using the surname of Daniels.  Carol now chooses to use her Traditional name, which has more meaning to her.  BEARSKIN DIARY is an award-winning novel,  being chosen as the Aboriginal Literature Title for 2017 by the Periodical Marketers of Canada.  It was also shortlisted for 3 Saskatchewan Book Awards in 2016.  The French language translation of this novel, entitled Peau D’ours won a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2019.

Her first book of poetry – entitled Hiraeth – was released in early 2018 (Inanna Publications).   Hiraeth was shortlisted for a Saskatchewan Book Award in 2019.   Her second novel – Bone Black– is  set to be released in 2019 (Nightwood Editions).   Her third novel – Narrows of Fear – will also be released, date tba (Nightwood 2020). She is currently working on fourth novel manuscript.  Carol is also an Aboriginal artist, multi-disciplined in the areas of writing, storytelling, singing/drumming & visual art.

On a regular basis, she enjoys performing at schools, community centres and children’s festivals across the province.  She is a published poet, short story writer and novelist.  As a visual artist, her work has been exhibited in art galleries across Saskatchewan and Northern Canada.  As a musician,  a CD of women’s drum songs, on which Carol was featured, was recently nominated for a Prairie Music Award.  Carol is Cree & Dene with roots in Sandy Bay, northern Saskatchewan.  However before pursuing her art on a full-time basis, Carol worked as a journalist for more than 30 years – working in television and radio at APTN, CTV & CBC.

Carol Greyeyes

Carol Greyeyes is an actor, writer, director, teacher, and arts administrator. She studied at the University of Saskatchewan, where she received a bachelor of fine arts and a bachelor of education. She acted and taught in both her home province of Saskatchewan and in Alberta before moving to Toronto to pursue a master of fine arts from York University. After graduation, Carol worked in theatre and the film and television industry as an actor and screenwriter. She was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Actress for her work in theatre.

Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer

Louise Bernice Halfe – Sky Dancer was raised on Saddle Lake Reserve and attended Blue Quills Residential School. Louise is married and has two adult children and three grandsons. She graduated with a Bachelor of social work from the University of Regina. She also completed two years of Nechi Training in St. Albert’s Nechi Institute where she also facilitated the program. She served as Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate for two years and has traveled extensively. She has served as “keynote speaker” at numerous conferences. Her books, Bear Bones and Feathers, Blue Marrow, The Crooked Good, and Burning In This Midnight Dream published by Coteau Publishers have all received numerous accolades and awards. Louise was award an honorary degree from Wilfred Laurier University and the University of Saskatchewan.

photo by David Stobbe /

Margaret Harrison

Margaret Harrison, originally from a Road Allowance community in Saskatchewan’s Qu’Appelle Valley, is the daughter of Adeline Pelletier dite Racette and Alfred Pelletier. Adeline used her talents as a seamstress to support the family, particularly after her husband Alfred died. Margaret remembers her grandparents trading rugs with farmers for food, eggs, butter, and pork, and that family members would go to different areas to sell their rugs.
Margaret was married at sixteen, and moved with her new husband to Montreal. Homesick, the young couple moved back to Saskatchewan. Her husband was a tradesman and electrician, and the couple and their five children moved around Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia.
Margaret learned the skill of rug hooking from her mother as part of her history, and is choosing to revive this artwork and teach it to young Métis women. Adeline’s work, “Awaken My People,” 2003 was featured in RESILIENCE / RESISTANCE: MÉTIS ART 1880-2011. Margaret is also known for her seamstress and embroidery work. The Gabriel Dumont Institute has produced two videos featuring Margaret Harrison and her artistic skills.

Harold R. Johnson

Harold R. Johnson is the author of five works of fiction and two works of nonfiction. His book, Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours), was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction. Born and raised in northern Saskatchewan to a Swedish father and a Cree mother, he is a graduate of Harvard Law School and managed a private practice for several years before becoming a Crown prosecutor. Johnson is a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation and lives in the north end of Saskatchewan, with his wife, Joan.

Mika Lafond

Mika Lafond is a member of Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. She teaches at ITEP at University of Saskatchewan. In 2017, she published her first book of poetry, nipê wânîn. She has had poems and short stories published in anthologies across Canada. In 2019, Mika worked with the Saskatoon Public School Division’s Indigenous Ensemble on production of her first play otâcimow. She is currently developing a new script for a spring 2020 performance.

John Lagimodiere

John Lagimodiere is the President of ACS Aboriginal Consulting Services and the Publisher/Editor of Eagle Feather News. ACS provides Aboriginal awareness seminars to clients including Nutrien, the Saskatoon Police Service, the City of Saskatoon, the City of Regina and the Province of Saskatchewan. The company also offers communication services. Eagle Feather News is Saskatchewan’s largest independent Indigenous media outlet with a monthly news paper and daily news website. John is a recipient of the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and was honoured with a Living in Harmony Award from the City of Saskatoon in 2006. ACS also received the ABEX award for Aboriginal Business in 2009.

Teedly Linklater

Teedly Linklater, is a single mother of four and from the Thunderchild First Nation. Teedly is active in the community, spending a lot of time volunteering at places such as sewing at the White Buffalo Youth Lodge, helping out with the Indigenous Radio Show at CFCR, singing and drumming at community events, and is on the Indigenous School Council in Saskatoon. She lives a traditional life, free of drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Teedly wears a ribbon skirt every day, which she has done for the past 15 years because she understands that life is a ceremony.

Randy Lundy

Randy Lundy is of Cree, Irish and Norwegian descent. He is a member of the Barren Lands (Cree) First Nation, Brochet, Manitoba, Canada.

He was born in the mining community of Thompson, Manitoba, and after a brief time living in Quesnel, in the Cariboo District of British Columbia, he was raised in and near the small logging community of Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan. For most of his time growing up in Hudson Bay, he lived a short walk from the confluence of the Fir, Etamomi, and Red Deer Rivers.

Randy attended university in Saskatoon, where he completed a B.A. (Hons.) and an M.A. in English at the University of Saskatchewan. He studied religion, philosophy, and literature, eventually focusing his studies on Indigenous literatures and completing a thesis on the plays of Tomson Highway, also from the Barren Lands (Cree) First Nation.

He began a teaching career first as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the U of S and later as a Sessional Lecturer at what was then known as the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, also in Saskatoon. In 1999 he moved to Regina, Saskatchewan, to take a position as the first-ever Canada Council-funded writer-in-residence at the SIFC, Regina Campus. After the residency, he began a teaching position at the SIFC, which became the First Nations University of Canada in 2003. He achieved a tenured appointment in 2005 and served as Head of the Department of English from 2005 until 2010.  He later served as the first Indigenous faculty member in the Department of English at the Jesuit-run Campion College, at University of Regina, from 2014-2017.

Randy has published three books of poetry, Under the Night Sun (1999), Gift of the Hawk (2004), and Blackbird Song (2018), in addition to publishing individual works of short fiction, literary non-fiction, and academic essays.

Blackbird Song received advanced praise from literary giants both north and south of the 49th parallel, including Lorna Crozier, Jane Hirshfield, Linda Hogan, Patrick Lane, Don McKay, and Simon Ortiz. Also, he has worked with editors who are themselves nationally- and internationally celebrated authors, including poet Patrick Lane, Delaware poet and playwright Daniel David Moses, novelist and non-fiction writer David Adams Richards, and, most recently, poet and philosopher Jan Zwicky.

His poetry has been widely anthologized, in Canada and abroad, including in the seminal texts Native Poetry in Canada: A Contemporary Anthology (Broadview) and An Anthology of Canadian Native Literature in English (Oxford UP).

Marlene McKay

Marlene McKay is a Nehinaw Iskwew who was raised in Northern Saskatchewan. She is a carrier of the Cree language. Marlene acknowledges she was raised by strong Nehinaw Iskwewak. She has worked as a social worker, counselor, and an adult educator. Marlene has taught for the University of Saskatchewan, University of Alberta and University of Regina in the Faculties of Education and Social Work. She asserts that she became an Indigenous Feminist because of her lived experiences which was enlivened by the rich literature that women of colour were sharing.

Garry Thomas Morse

Garry Thomas Morse grew up on the BC coast and now lives in Winnipeg. He has published several collections of poetry, notably Discovery Passages, about his Kwakwaka’wakw Indigenous ancestors, shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and Prairie Harbour, also shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award. He has twice been shortlisted for the national Re-Lit Award for fiction, and has served as the Jack McClelland Writer-in-Residence at the University of Toronto and the Carol Shields Writer-in-Residence at the University of Winnipeg.

photo by KC Adams

Curtis Peeteetuce

Curtis Peeteetuce is from the Beardy’s & Okemasis Cree Nation. Since 2001, he has had the honour of working with many talented artists in theatre, radio drama, music and film. Curtis is the recipient of the Saskatoon & Area Theatre Award for Outstanding Male Performance and the Henry Woolf Award for Outstanding Achievement. He is also a grass dancer, storyteller and the playwright for the popular rez Christmas story series and the recently published plays nicimos, kihew and Popcorn Elder (nominated for 2 Saskatchewan arts awards). Curtis dedicates all his efforts and accomplishments to his son Mahihkan.


Kevin Wesaquate, spoken word poet and visual artist, is currently employed as a Multi-Disciplinary Indigenous Arts Leader at SCYAP. Kevin is the founder of Indigenous Poetry Society with hopes of building a larger community of spoken word artist. Kevin represented Saskatoon at the Canadian Individual Slam in Vancouver in April 2018 as well as representing Tonight It’s Poetry for the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in 2017 and 2018. He recently finished the Indigenous Fine Arts Residency in Banff Centre for the Arts, called ‘Ghost Days, Making Art for Spirit. 2019’. His work has led to community initiatives like planting misaskwatomina (Saskatoon berry) shrubs by the river near downtown Saskatoon with a group known as Locals Only. With many public speaking engagements his aim is to always inspire the next upcoming artists, like the 1st Indigenous Poets Society Team who will be competing at CFSW 2019. A collection of paintings that where created by Kevin Wesaquate still hang at the Saskatchewan Adult 10 & 12 building. Kevin is currently working on a collection of paintings for an upcoming shows in 2020 with Hues Art Gallery and Chokecherry Studios. Becoming community leader in Saskatoon he is from Piapot First Nation where he learned the value of a community. Sahkihitok (love one another).

Cooper Skjeie

Cooper Skjeie (/sh-ay/) is a Métis educator born and raised in Saskatoon. He has kinship ties to the Métis communities of Duck Lake, Fish Creek, Prince Albert, Portage la Prairie, and St.Ambroise, and he is also a descendant of German and Norwegian settlers. As a poet, he was a participant at the 2019 Emerging Writers Intensive at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, has been a featured speaker for Red Rising Magazine, and his recent work appears in Grain Magazine’s Indigenous Writers and Storytellers issue.

Dr. Verna St. Denis

Dr. Verna St. Denis is a Professor of Education at the University of Saskatchewan in the Department of Educational Foundations where she has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in critical anti-racist education since 1992. She identifies as both Cree and Metis and is a member of the Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation.

Joshua Whitehead

Joshua Whitehead is a Two-Spirit/ Oji-Cree/nehiyaw member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1) in Manitowapow. He is currently a doctoral student at the University of Calgary where he focuses on Indigenous Literatures and Cultures in the English Department. Joshua is the author of full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks) and Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp Press).

Joshua has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award and was selected for the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize mentorship program. Joshua is currently working on his third book, Making Love to the Land – a hybrid form of nehiyaw storytelling that includes poetry, fiction, and personal essay on ways of reading the land from a queer Indigenous perspective, forthcoming from Knopf Canada.

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