Christine Smith (McFarlane)


The Toronto Public Library Welcomes its First Aboriginal Writer in Residence


On March 7, 2015, a small crowd gathered to celebrate the appointment of award-winning Métis author Cherie Dimaline as the Toronto Public Library’s first Aboriginal Writer in Residence, a position she will hold at the North York Central Library. “I really see it as a tremendous beginning for a partnership between the Aboriginal literary community and the busiest library system in the...

A Fantasy of Indigenous Experience: Cherie Dimaline’s The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy


Reviewed in this essay: The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy by Cherie Dimaline. Published by Theytus Books (June 2013). The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy, written by celebrated Ojibway and Métis author Cherie Dimaline, weaves together a story of struggle, hope, and magic. As the main character, Ruby Bloom, experiences a series of traumatic childhood events, planets start to grow around her head. The planets...

A Review: Giles Benaway’s Ceremonies For The Dead


Reviewed in this essay: Ceremonies for the Dead by Giles Benaway. Published by Kegedonce Press. Poetry never ceases to amaze me. I began my writing career with pieces of poetry published here and there, but then with time, I discovered short stories and turned my attention to them. I don’t know if I will ever go back to poetry because in poetry, I find that you either got it or you don’t. The way...

Diary: The Banff Centre’s Indigenous Writers Program


Opportunities knock at your door when you least expect them, and when they do, they can knock you right off your feet and make you ask yourself-is this really happening to me? I applied for the Aboriginal Emerging Writer Program in 2011 through the Canada Council for the Arts. When I received confirmation in the summer of 2011 that I was accepted into the program, I literally had to shake my head...

TRB Podcast: Dr. Pamela Palmater speaks about Indigenous rights and Idle No More


Listen here: Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser. Lawyer, Ryerson professor and member of the Mi’kmaq community Dr. Pamela Palmater has been one of the key organizers of the Idle No More movement in Toronto. On Jan. 17, 2013 she spoke to a packed room...

Dr. Pamela Palmater To Speak at U of T’s Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives


Dr. Pamela Palmater, a Mi’kmaw lawyer and Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, will be speaking at the Centre for Aboriginal Initiatives Hart House (7 Hart House Circle, in the 2nd floor Debates Room) at the University of Toronto on January 17, 2013 at 2pm. Dr. Palmater will be speaking on “Legal Constitutional Implications of Recent...

Starting the conversation: A review of First Nations 101: Tons of Stuff You Need to Know About First Nations People

First Nations 101

Reviewed in this essay: First Nations 101: Tons of Stuff You Need to Know About First Nations People, by Lynda Gray (Adaawx, 2011, 275 pages). I’m a First Nations survivor of the ’60s and ’70s “Scoop”, the government-imposed movement that took hundreds of Aboriginal children away from their families, culture, traditions and heritage. I was subsequently adopted out to a non...

Indigenous Writers’ Gathering A Smashing Success


Renowned authors Lee Maracle, Daniel Heath-Justice, Richard Wagamese and award winning Metis poet Marilyn Dumont all descended on the U of T campus for the one-day Indigenous Writers’ Gathering last week. After a breakfast with the writers, panels kicked off with traditional Metis Rogarou stories. Other workshops included discussing fiction with Richard Wagamese, “Declaring and Taking Back...

Indigenous Literary Stars Converge in Toronto: First Nations House and Muskrat Magazine partner up to celebrate storytelling excellence


First Nations House at the University of Toronto will be hosting the fifth annual celebration of the Indigenous Writers’ Gathering on October 18, 2012. Not to be missed, the event will end with a gala reading night hosted by CBC’s Sidd Bobb and Wab Kinew. Participating Aboriginal authors this year include the renowned Lee Maracle, Cherokee author and UBC professor Daniel Heath Justice, Metis poet...