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Drew Hayden Taylor is Anishnawbe/Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario and an award-winning playwright, journalist, short-story writer, novelist, commentator, scriptwriter and documentarian. As a writer/creator, he strives to educate and inform about issues that interfere with, reflect on and celebrate the lives of Canada’s First Nations. With over 30 books to his credit and multiple awards and nominations Taylor is continuing the series that considered First Nations’ lives through the themes of Me Funny, Me Sexy and Me Artsy with the latest installment Me Tomorrow: Indigenous Views on the Future in the Fall 2021 (Douglas & McIntyre).

Drew Hayden Taylor headshot

Anishnaabekwe, Shelley Knott-Fife, resides where she was raised, in Curve Lake First Nation. With the honour of being mom to son, D.J., and daughter, Jaime, she has a career spanning over 20 years in First Nation education. She has been Curve Lake First Nation’s Education Manager, a provincial school board consultant, an Indigenous Education Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Education and is currently an education specialist with Indigenous Services Canada. A PhD Candidate in Indigenous Studies (Trent) focusing research on Special Education, Shelley has a B.A. (Waterloo), a B.Ed. (Trent) and holds an M.Sc. in Special Education (Purdue).

Shelley Knott-Fife headshot

Cyndy Baskin, PhD, is of Mi’kmaq and Celtic descent. Her clan is the fish and her spirit name translates as “The Woman Who Passes on the Teachings.” She is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at X (Ryerson) University in Toronto, Ontario. Her teaching, research and writing interests involve how Indigenous worldviews can inform education, spirituality and anti-violence approaches towards Indigenous women. Prior to joining Ryerson, Cyndy was a social worker for many years within Indigenous agencies and assisted several First Nations communities to set up culture-based programing, the latter of which she continues to do.

Cyndy Baskin

Darrel J. McLeod is Nehiyaw (Cree) from treaty eight territory in Alberta. Darrel was a chief negotiator of land claims for the federal government and executive director of education and international affairs with the Assembly of First Nations. He holds degrees in French Literature and Education. He is fluent in French, Spanish, English, and is studying Cree. Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity is his second memoir following the events in his Governor General’s Literary Award-winning Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age. Darrel lives, writes, sings and plays jazz guitar in Sooke, B.C. and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Darrel J. McLeod headshot

Dr. Norma Dunning is a writer, scholar, researcher, professor and grandmother. Her first book, Annie Muktuk and Other Stories, received the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story and the Bronze for short stories in the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. Her collection of poetry, Eskimo Pie, is an Alberta bestseller. Tainna: The Unseen Ones (Douglas & McIntyre) is an honouring to all Inuit who live outside of their land claims areas and who face modern-day life with humour and tenacity and with the strength of the giants they are. Dunning lives in Edmonton, AB.

Norma Dunning Headshot

Si’Yam Lee Maracle is the author of a number of critically acclaimed and award winning works, including Ravensong, Celia’s Song, My Home as I Remember, My Conversations with Canadians and Hope Matters. Maracle has received many awards and recognitions including the Blue Metropolis Festival First Peoples Prize and the Harbourfront Festival Prize. Recently, she was shortlisted for the Neustadt International Award. Maracle is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. A member of the Sto:lo Nation, Maracle lives in Toronto and teaches at the University of Toronto.

Lee Maracle headshot

Christa Couture is an award-winning performing and recording artist, non-fiction writer and broadcaster. She is also proudly Indigenous (mixed Cree and Scandinavian), queer, disabled, and a mom. Her 2016 album Long Time Leaving was nominated for Best Folk Album at Indigenous Music Awards, and her latest album Safe Harbour released in 2020. In 2018, her CBC article and photos on disability and pregnancy went viral. A frequent contributor to CBC Radio, she is currently the weekend morning on-air host at 106.5 elmnt FM in Toronto. Prairie-raised, Couture lived for 17 years in Vancouver, BC, but now calls Toronto home.

Christa Couture by Jen Squires