At Portage & Main Press/HighWater Press, not only are we proud to collaborate with incredible, groundbreaking women authors, but we are honoured to share their incredible work. In recognition of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, keep reading to learn about some incredible women authors and their accomplishments.
Sara Florence Davidson
Sara Florence Davidson is a Haida educator and scholar with a PhD in Literacy Education. Sara is an assistant professor at Simon Fraser Universityand is passionate about helping teachers incorporate Indigenous content, perspectives, and pedagogies into their classrooms—particularly in the area of English Language Arts. She is very engaged in exploring ways to merge the strengths of Indigenous and non-Indigenous pedagogical practices. You can learn more in her book, Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning Through Ceremony. Her most recent project, The Sk’ad’a Stories Series, features beautiful books for children that bring the Haida Sk’ad’a Principles to life through the art of Janine Gibbons.
Pamela Rose Toulouse
Pamela Rose Toulouse, PhD, is originally from the community of Sagamok First Nation and is a proud Ojibwe/Odawa woman that comes from a long line of educators. She is currently a professor in the Faculty of Education at Laurentian University and was among the first university-level Indigenous educators. Dr. Pamela Rose Toulouse is known for her dynamic teaching, advocacy, and commitment as an educator. Her latest book with us, Truth and Reconciliation in Canadian Schools, is one of over 50 resources she has published.
“[The author’s] background and teaching experience provide the insight, knowledge, and expertise to make [Truth and Reconciliation in Canadian Schools] a valuable text for both the novice and experienced teacher.”—Canadian Teacher Magazine
Jennifer Lawson, PhD, helped shape the future of education as we know it in Canada. She took on the monumental task of creating the Hands-On series when there were no other curriculum resources of this kind. Jennifer has created something that stands the test of time, and Hands-On continues to evolve to respond to the needs of today’s classrooms. Jennifer currently teaches at the University of Manitoba and is a local School Board Trustee.
Read an interview with Jennifer here.
Jennifer Katz, PhD, is the groundbreaking author of Teaching to Diversity: The Three-Block Model of Universal Design for Learning and winner of the MCEC Outstanding Achievement Award for Leadership (2016). Dr. Jennifer Katz developed this practical Three-Block Model after teaching in diverse classrooms from K to 12 in Winnipeg and Vancouver for over 16 years. Her model is the “how-to” piece we need for creating socially and academically inclusive classrooms and has been implemented in elementary and high schools across multiple provinces and states. Her most recent title, Ensouling Our Schools[link], weaves together methods of creating schools that engender mental, spiritual, and emotional health while developing intellectual thought and critical analysis.
“At this time in Canadian history, [Ensouling Our Schools] is an important theoretical and practical book that deepens our understanding of the interconnectedness of SEL, UDL, Trauma-Informed Practice, Mental Health, and Inclusion under the umbrella of responding to the TRC. This is a tall order, but Katz and Lamoureux do it masterfully and leave the reader with incredible hope for education, youth, and the future of this Land and country.”—Exceptionality Education International
Faye Brownlie is one of BC’s most sought-after learning and literacy experts. Faye believes that all educators—classroom teachers, specialist teachers, administrators, and district staff—should be leaders of learning. She’s the author and co-author of many books for teachers. She believes it is our common goal to work together to support the best learning possible for all learners. Faye is the creator of the successful Say Something strategy which she outlines in her book Grand Conversations, Thoughtful Responses: A Unique Approach to Literature Circles, now in its second edition. She also contributed to the It’s All About Thinking series with Portage & Main Press.
Connect with Faye here.
Shelley Moore is a groundbreaking and inspirational teacher, researcher, speaker, and storyteller that has worked with school districts and community organizations across Canada and the United States. Shelley is passionate about inclusive education, curriculum, and teacher professional development. Shelley’s YouTube Series, Five Moore Minutes is an incredible resource where she creates videos dedicated to empowering schools and classrooms to support all learners. Her book, One Without the Other: Stories of Unity Through Diversity and Inclusion tackles such things as inclusion as a philosophy and practice, the difference between integration and inclusion, and how inclusion can work with a variety of students and abilities. Most recently, Shelley narrated the One Without the Other audiobook coming soon from your favourite audiobook retailer.
Christine M’Lot is an Anishinaabe educator and curriculum developer from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has experience working with children and youth in multiple capacities including child welfare, children’s disability services and Indigenous family programming. She is currently teaching high school at the University of Winnipeg Collegiate. Christine is also the co-founder of Red Rising Education, and works to create Indigenous education resources for teachers. She is the author of two teacher guides for Portage & Main Press.
Katherena Vermette is a Métis writer from Treaty 1 territory, the heart of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Katherena is a versatile writer who has worked in numerous mediums, including novels, poetry, film, and graphic novels. Her first book, North End Love Songs won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry and her first novel The Break was a Governor General’s Award finalist. The final installment in her graphic novel series, A Girl Called Echo, is coming in April 2021. See a full list of her work here.
Find Road Allowance Era, Volume 4 of A Girl Called Echo, here
Listen to The Next Chapter as Katherena Vermette talks about her A Girl Called Echo graphic novel series here
Jen Storm is an Ojibway writer from the Couchiching First Nation in Northwestern Ontario. Jen completed her first novel, Deadly Loyalties at the young age of 14, and also wrote the graphic novel, Fire Starters. However, her talents aren’t restricted to writing; they also rest in art. She was a contributing writer and illustrator for This Place: 150 Years Retold, and is currently illustrating book two in The Six Seasons of the Asiniskaw Īthiniwak series. To add to the long list of achievements, Jen was a 2017 recipient of CBC Manitoba’s Future 40 under 40.
In her own words, Jen Storm explains how she wrote Fire Starters here.
Charlene Bearhead is a dedicated advocate for Indigenous education, and has served as the education lead for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as well as the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Her latest work with her husband, Wilson Bearhead, has produced the Siha Tooskin Knows series. According to The Globe and Mail, the books “will inspire and enlighten” with their vivid illustrations and narratives in contemporary settings. The stories about an 11-year-old Nakota boy were listed among CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens and identified as a selection of exceptional caliber. Find the Siha Tooskin Knows series here.
Listen to Charlene and Wilson talk about the Siha Tooskin Knows series with Alan Neal on All in a Day here.
Tasha Spillett is a celebrated educator, poet, and emerging scholar who draws her strength from both her Nehiyaw and Trinidadian bloodlines. She is currently working on her PhD in Education through the University of Saskatchewan, where she holds a Vanier Canada Award. Tasha is most heart-tied to contributing to community-led work that centres on land and water defence, and the protection of Indigenous women and girls. Her most recent book, From the Roots Up, is the sequel to the bestselling Surviving the City.
Read Tasha’s interview with American Libraries about diversity and change in graphic novels here.
Beatrice Mosionier is a Métis author most notably recognized for her groundbreaking novel, In Search of April Raintree. When Beatrice wrote In Search of April Raintree in the early 80s, there were few Indigenous authors writing about their experiences. She continues to be a leader and an inspiration for many Indigenous writers across Canada. First published in 1983, In Search of April Raintree has become a Canadian classic, has been adapted for schools, and launched the Manitoba literacy initiative On the Same Page in 2008.
Listen to Unreserved as Beatrice Mosionier talks about In Search of April Raintree here.
Lisa Boivin, a member of the Deninu Kue First Nation, uses her images as a tool to bridge gaps between medical ethics and aspects of Indigenous cultures and worldviews. Look for her lyrical art and storytelling in her debut book, I Will See You Again, which follows the loss of Lisa’s brother and her journey overseas to bring him home. Lisa, a PhD student, strives to humanize clinical medicine as she situates her art in the Indigenous continuum of passing on knowledge through images. Her upcoming book, We Dream Medicine Dreams [link], explores connecting with ancestors through dreams through a story about life and death.
Watch her TEDx Talk on Painting the Path of Indigenous Resilience here.
Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm is a writer, poet, spoken-word performer, librettist, and activist from the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. Kateri is the founder and Managing Editor of Kegedonce Press, which is one of only three established Indigenous-owned publishing companies in Canada. Kateri is an incredible writer and speaker whose work has been heard and read around the world.
Listen to The Next Chapter as Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm talks about The Stone Collection here.
KC Adams is a Cree/Ojibway/British Winnipeg-based artist and a former instructor in Visual and Aboriginal Art at Brandon University. KC is a tireless advocate for Indigenous communities and she shows her advocacy through her art. She has participated in both solo and group exhibitions and was included in the PHOTOQUAI: Biennale des images du monde in Paris, France. Her work is in many permanent collections both nationally and internationally. Locally, KC was the set designer for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation ballet and she has also designed public-art sculptures around Winnipeg. Browse her work here.
Chelsea Vowel is Métis from manitow-sâkahikan (Lac Ste. Anne), Alberta. Mother to six girls, she has a BEd and LLB, and she is currently a graduate student and Cree language curriculum developer. Her collection of essays, Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada, is a national bestseller and has been since the day it was released. The book opens an important dialogue about Indigenous concepts and the wider social beliefs about the relationship between Indigenous peoples and Canada. Along with Molly Swain, she co-hosts an Indigenous feminist sci-fi podcast called Métis in Space.
Most recently Chelsea joined actor Dan Levy for an episode of Indigenous Canada. Find it here.
Find and purchase books by these women and other great authors on our website.