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Book Week: An Evening of Métis Writing

By Karon Shmon

Jan 16, 2023

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The week of September 26th was Book Week in Saskatchewan, an initiative of SaskBooks to celebrate over 40 years of publishing in Saskatchewan. The Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI) partnered with SaskBooks and the Saskatchewan Ânskohk Writers Circle Inc. (SAWCI) to host a public event in the GDI Gallery that featured four Métis authors from Saskatchewan. David Morin was GDI’s lead and the emcee for the evening, which began and ended with Tristen Durocher’s fiddle music. The readings began with Diana Hope Tegencamp, followed by Allyson Stevenson, Lisa Bird Wilson, and Arnolda Dufour Bowes.  Each author’s work demonstrated the diversity and talent of local Métis authors.

GDI was particularly proud of our close connection with three of the authors. Allyson Stevenson is currently the Gabriel Dumont Institute Chair in Métis Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Her book, Intimate Integration: A History of the Sixties Scoop and the Colonization of Indigenous Kinship (University of Toronto Press), won two Saskatchewan Book Awards in 2022. Lisa Bird Wilson’s book, Probably Ruby (Doubleday Canada) also won two Saskatchewan Book Awards in 2022, most notably, Book of the Year.

GDI Press, garnered the Indigenous Peoples’ Publishing Saskatchewan Book Award for 20.12 m: A Short Story Collection of a Life as a Road Allowance Métis by Arnolda Dufour Bowes.

The audience was encouraged to interact with the authors and to pose questions and comments following each author’s reading. The evening closed with tea and bannock in a more casual setting, which enabled those present to have more personal interactions with the authors, each of whom did an excellent job.

A copy of each of the featured books is now in the staff lending library in Saskatoon.

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