Simon Ash-Moccasin resides in Regina with his daughters Maija and Sage. He is from the Little Jackfish Lake Reserve (Saulteaux First Nations) on Treaty 6 Territory in Saskatchewan. Simon has been writing for a number of years ever since grade 3. In Grade 7, some sort of artist lifestyle way, came in to him and he burnt his early writing. His first amateur writing experience was the play, The Bingo King, which went on to become a staged reading in Regina. Since then, Simon can't put down the pen or stop typing. He has written articles for Briarpatch Magazine. (current board member) He has penned many slam poetry words and performed them at various locations around Kanata. He has worked on other plays such as Tyrone and Mary (formerly Bush Party), The Earth is on Fire, and a play about a bus trip to Ottawa to protest Harper. He has conducted many writing workshops. He was invited to Festival of Words to present. Currently Simon is working on a book of his life, which includes the infamous Sixties Scoop, stocked with numerous stories of growing up and living bi-culturally. Simon is honored, humbled and thankful to be able to present some of his older work and newer work within the many written genres. He thanks the Anskohk committee and board for giving a brother a chance.
Hiy hiy. He is also looking forward to the round dance tonight. Hoka hey!
Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Métis writer whose work has appeared in a number of literary magazines and anthologies. Bird-Wilson’s book, Just Pretending (Coteau Books), was a finalist for the national Danuta Gleed Literary Award and won several Saskatchewan Book Awards, including Book of the Year, Aboriginal Peoples’ Writing Award, Fiction Award, and the Aboriginal People’s Publishing Award.
Rita is an educator and writer. She has published two books of poetry, Blueberry Clouds (1999, nominated for the First Peoples’ Publishing Award) and papīyāhtak (2004, nominated for the Saskatchewan Book Award) published by Thistledown Press. Gabriel Dumont Institute published a collaborative work with Sherry Farrell-Racette and Margaret Gardiner titled Better That Way in 2008 (nominated for the Saskatoon Book Award), a children’s book featuring the title poem of papīyāhtak. Rita’s poetry has been translated into Spanish and German. Her work appears in literary anthologies, musical and television productions. A third publication of poetry is slated for publication Spring, 2015.
Warren Cariou was born in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan into a family of Métis and European heritage. He has published fiction, criticism and memoir about Aboriginal cultures in Canada and has co-directed two films about Aboriginal communities in the oil sands region. He directs the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture at the University of Manitoba.
Mika Lafond is from the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation. She has a Bachelor of Education and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Saskatchewan - her MFA thesis is a bilingual poetry manuscript in nêhiyawêwin and English.
Garry Thomas Morse
Garry Thomas Morse is the author of four poetry titles and four fiction titles, notably Governor-General’s Award poetry finalist Discovery Passages about his ancestral Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations myth, history, and the fallout of Canada's potlatch ban, and also his outlandish speculative fiction series The Chaos! Quincunx.
While Deanna Reder's Cree speaking Métis family comes from La Ronge, Île-à-la-Crosse and Lac Doré, she lives and works in Vancouver, BC. She is an Associate Professor in the Departments of First Nations Studies and English at Simon Fraser University teaching courses on Indigenous popular fiction and Indigenous perspectives on Gender and Sexuality.
Gregory Scofield is one of Canada’s leading Aboriginal writers whose seven collections of poetry have earned him both a national and international audience. He is known for his unique and dynamic reading style that blends oral storytelling, song, spoken word and the Cree language. His work is taught at numerous universities and colleges throughout Canada and the U.S.
Many paths have converged to lead Karon Shmon to her current position as Director of Publishing at the Gabriel Dumont Institute, a Saskatchewan-based Métis organization with culture and education as its focus. Her roots to the one-room cabin at Chitek Lake where her mother was raised and the family’s annual visits to Batoche helped her to understand her heritage and to be proud of being Métis. As a classroom teacher and consultant, Karon worked to make education more equitable with a personal mantra to “affirm ourselves (Aboriginal peoples), and inform the others.” This makes her work at GDI for the last decade her true calling. She considers it a privilege to have the opportunity to work with Métis Elders, authors, artists, poets, performers, knowledge keepers, and community members and to preserve their voice, and legacy, through the publications and resources created at the Institute.