Monique Gray Smith
Monique Gray Smith is Cree, Lakota and Scottish. She is a proud Mom of fifteen-year old twins. She is an award-winning, best-selling author and sought after consultant. Monique’s first published novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature. Since then, Monique has had 5 books come out, including Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation. Speaking our Truth has won numerous awards, is a Canadian Best Seller and a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.
It continues to be used across the country as a tool to educate the hearts and minds of both young and not so young readers. Monique’s latest release, Tilly and the Crazy Eights is an adult novel about an epic road trip that reminds the reader of the power of the human spirit and that love is medicine. Monique is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.
“Gray Smith intricately pieces together stories, traditional teachings and hard-earned personal wisdom, creating a hand-stitched quilt you can’t help but wrap yourself in – a quilt filled with optimism and the assurance that no matter how lost we are, hope, love and guidance surround us at every turn.” – Christy Jordan-Fenton, author of Fatty Legs and A Stranger at Home
Tracey Lindberg is a citizen of As’in’i’wa’chi Ni’yaw Nation, Rocky Mountain Cree, and hails from the Kelly Lake Cree Nation community. She is an award-winning writer for her academic work and teaches Indigenous law at the University of Ottawa. Birdie was a finalist for the Kobo Emerging Writer Award and the 2016 edition of CBC’s Canada Reads. The novel was also long-listed for the 2017 Dublin International Literary Prize, the OLA Evergreen Award and was a nominee for the 2016 Alberta Literary Awards. Dr. Lindberg was a juror for the 2017 Rogers Trust Fiction prize. In 2018, Lindberg was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists . Tracey Lindberg currently lives on Algonquin territory.
“A stunning debut novel, grounded in the sheer beauty of Cree poetics, love, and a benevolence few of us are lucky enough to know. The brilliance of Indigenous women dances off each page—this story is our story, so carefully woven together into a tapestry that is the spine of our collective beings. I see myself, my family and my life in every sentence. This is the novel Canada has been waiting for.” – Leanne Simpson – Award-winning author of Island of Decolonial Love
Nicola I. Campbell
Nicola Campbell is Nłeʔkepmx, Syilx and Métis from the Nicola Valley, British Columbia. She is the author of, Shi-shi-etko, Shin-chi’s Canoe,and Grandpa’s Girls. A Day With Yayah, published by Tradewind Books, is her most recent children’s book. A Day with Yayah shares a story of a grandmother passing on important land-based cultural teachings about harvesting traditional foods and medicines to her grandchildren. Nicola writes adult and children’s free-verse poetry, fiction and non-fiction prose and has two books forthcoming in Fall 2019 and 2020. Campbell is a finalist for numerous children’s literary awards and was recipient of the 2009 TD Canadian Children’s literature award, 2009 USBBY Outstanding International Books List and shared the 2006 Anskohk Aboriginal Children’s Book of the Year Award. Currently a student at UBC Okanagan, her Ph.D. research draws upon Indigenous scholarship with a focus on contemporary and traditional Indigenous storytelling practices.
“I heard an elder speak of the importance of our languages and our culture. He said that our words are powerful; our stories are elastic; our languages are music: they dance, they move and they are medicine for our people. He said they are a spirit within themselves and we are only the channel that brings them to life. I write because I know what he said is true.” – Nicola I. Campbell
Ecko was born into the Nlaka’pamux Nation and raised with the shíshálh Nation. She is a multimedia and spoken word artist with a family background of traditional singing, drumming, dancing and ceremonies. In 2016, Ecko graduated from the Art Institute of Vancouver. In 2017, she received the Fred Sherratt MusiCounts award for Outstanding Recording Arts and Sciences. Ecko is a new business owner of her recently founded company Sacred Matriarch Productions: Multimedia Storytelling woven with Ancestral Knowledge.
“In connecting culture and art through creative expression, I have found my way. My goal is to inspire other Indigenous people to move through the traumas and reach for their dreams.”
Wednesday, August 7th Writers Festival Schedule
- 10:30 am – noon Children’s readings and song with Monique Gray Smith/Ecko Aleck and Nicola I. Campbell
- 1 -3 pm – writer’s workshop with our four authors– If you are an author, an aspiring author or just someone who loves writing, come to this writer’s workshop
- 4 – 4:50 – Presentation – Ecko Aleck
- 5 – 5:50 – Presentation – Monique Gray Smith
- Dinner Break
- 7:30 – 8 – Presentation – Nicola I. Campbell
- 8 – 8:50 – Presentation – Tracey Lindberg
- 9 – 10 pm – Panel Discussion with Tracey Lindberg, Monique Gray Smith, Nicola I. Campbell and Ecko Aleck
Buy tickets here.