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


Jordan Abel

Jordan Abel is a Nisga’a writer from Vancouver. He is the author of The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Un/inhabited, and Injun (winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize). Abel’s latest project NISHGA (forthcoming from McClelland & Stewart in 2021) is a deeply personal and autobiographical book that attempts to address the complications of contemporary Indigenous existence and the often invisible intergenerational impact of residential schools. Abel recently completed a PhD at Simon Fraser University, and is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta where he teaches Indigenous Literatures and Creative Writing.

Lisa Bird-Wilson

Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw writer whose work appears in literary magazines and anthologies across Canada. Her fiction book, Just Pretending (Coteau Books 2013), won four Saskatchewan Book Awards, including 2014 Book of the Year, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award, and was the 2019 One Book, One Province selection. Bird-Wilson’s debut poetry collection, The Red Files (Nightwood Editions 2016), is inspired by family and archival sources and reflects on the legacy of the residential school system and the fragmentation of families and histories. She is the current prose editor for Grain magazine as well as a founding member and chair of the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Writers Circle Inc (SAWCI). Her new novel, Probably Ruby, will be published in Canada by Doubleday in August 2021 and in the USA by Hogarth/Random House in spring 2022.

Maria Campbell

Maria Campbell: Writer, filmmaker, and playwright Maria Campbell has published seven books, including Halfbreed, which was first published in 1973 and was recently republished to include pages that were pulled (by the publisher) from ‘73 edition. She is currently working on a new play with Yvette Nolin, Marilyn Poitras, and Cheryl Troupe. This play just performed a public reading in Toronto to a sold- out audience. It will open in Saskatoon in 2020. Maria is the Cultural Advisor at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan where she also teaches a class on Indigenous Legal Traditions. She has received numerous honors and awards, among them the Gabriel Dumont Order of Merit; a three-year Trudeau Fellowship at the University of Ottawa; and six Honourary Doctorates. She is an officer of the Order of Canada. Her two latest honours include the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award from SK Arts and an honorary degree from the University of Saskatchewan at Spring Convocation 2021.

Rosanna Deerchild

Rosanna Deerchild (She/Her) is Cree, from the community of O-Pipon-Na-Piwan Cree Nation. She has been a storyteller for more than 20 years; as a journalist, broadcaster and a poet. For six seasons she was the host of CBC Radio One’s Unreserved. Currently, she is helping to create a podcast called This Place, which will focus on Indigenous history in Canada. Her debut poetry collection ‘this is a small northern town’ shared her reflections of growing up in a racially divided place. It won the 2009 Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry. Her second book, ‘calling down the sky,’ is a collaborative work with her mother who was forced to attend Indian Residential School. She is currently at work on her first play with the Royal MTC’s Pimootayowin Creators Circle and her third collection of poetry.

Alicia Elliott

Alicia Elliott is a Mohawk writer living in Brantford, Ontario. She has written for The Globe and Mail, CBC, Hazlitt and many others. She’s had essays nominated for National Magazine Awards for three straight years, winning Gold in 2017, and her short fiction was selected for Best American Short Stories 2018, Best Canadian Stories 2018, and Journey Prize Stories 30. She was chosen by Tanya Talaga as the 2018 recipient of the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. Her first book, A Mind Spread Out On The Ground, is a national bestseller.

Monique Gray Smith

Monique Gray Smith is an award-winning, and best-selling author of books for children and youth, as well as adults. Her children’s books include; My Heart Fills with Happiness, You Hold Me Up, When We Are Kind. Her YA/Adult books include; Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, Lucy and Lola and Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation which was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Her recent novel, Tilly and the Crazy Eights was longlisted for Canada Reads 2021. She is a proud mom of teenage twins, and is Cree, Lakota and Scottish. Monique is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and belief that love is medicine. She and her family are blessed to live on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ people, also known as Victoria, Canada.

Waubgeshig Rice

Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, and spent most of his journalism career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a video journalist and radio host. He left CBC in 2020 to focus on his literary career. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and two sons.

Gregory Scofield

Gregory Scofield is a Red River Métis of Cree, Scottish, and European descent whose ancestry can be traced to the fur trade and to the Métis community of Kinosota, Manitoba. He is currently an associate professor at the University of Victoria, Department of Writing. He has taught Creative Writing and First Nations and Métis Literature at Brandon University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the Alberta University of the Arts, and was most recently an associate professor in the Department of English at Laurentian University. He has served as writer-in residence at the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, and Memorial University of Newfoundland. Further to writing and teaching, Gregory is also a skilled bead-worker, and he creates in the medium of traditional Métis arts. He continues to assemble a collection of mid- to late 19th century Cree-Métis artifacts, which are used as learning and teaching pieces.

Jesse Wente

Well known as a film critic and broadcaster in Toronto and across Canada, Jesse was the first nationally syndicated Indigenous columnist for the CBC, covering film and pop culture for 20 local CBC Radio programs. He has also been a regular guest on CBC Newsworld’s News Morning and Weekend Edition, as well as Q. Jesse is Ojibwe, and his family comes from Chicago and the Serpent River First Nation in Ontario. Jesse is Chair of the board of directors for the Canada Council for the Arts. His first book is published Sept 2021, titled Unreconciled: Family, Truth, and Indigenous Resistance, and he’s been co-producing his first film, a screen adaptation of Thomas King’s best-selling book, The Inconvenient Indian.

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