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HighWater Press Celebrates 15 Years of Diverse and Compelling Indigenous Storytelling

HighWater Press Celebrates 15 Years of Diverse and Compelling Indigenous Storytelling

By Press Staff | Date: July 03, 2024

Publishing enduring fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, and children's books, HighWater Press is committed to amplifying Indigenous voices and experiences.

For 15 years, HighWater Press, an imprint of Winnipeg's Portage & Main Press, has been at the forefront of publishing cutting edge Indigenous stories. Known for vibrant and imaginative graphic novels and children's books, HighWater Press also publishes poignant and thought-provoking nonfiction that challenges colonial narratives and encompasses the fullness of Indigenous cultures, histories and contemporary perspectives. Through the exceptional works of authors like David A. Robertson, katherena vermette, and Richard Van Camp, HighWater Press is now recognized as a publisher of diverse, quality books by some of the most celebrated established and emerging Indigenous writers in Canada.

As the Canadian publishing world expands to embrace more Indigenous writers and their stories, HighWater Press is proud to be one of the first publishers in Canada to centre Indigenous voices at the core of its publishing mandate.

August officially marks the 15th anniversary of HighWater Press and its commitment to making space for Indigenous stories and experiences. To celebrate this milestone, the press is highlighting 15 exceptional works from its impressive catalogue that showcase its core values: speaking truth to power, retelling history, living in a good way, and reading as resistance.


Stories are integral to many Indigenous cultures. Through stories, Indigenous Peoples share their cultures, traditions, worldviews, languages, and knowledge of the land. However, Western institutions, including the publishing industry, have been slow to recognize the value of these stories, and of Indigenous writers’ works. The books in this section represent moments of resurgence: sharing truths, breaking barriers, and pushing back against preconceived notions of Indigenous culture and identity. These books create space for new voices, expanding ideas about what it means to be Indigenous, as well as what Indigenous literature is and can be.

In Search of April Raintree
Indigenous Writes


An important part of education is learning the history of the local land. Today, Canadian schools are making shifts to include Indigenous stories and perspectives about the experiences of Indigenous Peoples in Canada over the past several centuries. HighWater Press was ahead of this curve, publishing stories by Indigenous authors about historical events from Indigenous perspectives. Many of these stories had never been brought to a young audience, or indeed to the general public, at all. This act of reclamation was, and continues to be, pivotal to bringing more Indigenous voices into the literary world and the educational sphere.

7 Generations
A Girl Called Echo Omnibus
Pīsim Finds Her Miskanaw
When We Were Alone
This Place


The Anishinaabe concept of Mino Bimaadiziwin encompasses the idea of “the good life” or “living in a good way,” which includes bringing traditional values and ways of healing into the present. This process can be a decolonizing act for Indigenous Peoples. The books in this section demonstrate living in a good way by emphasizing relationships and community building, non-violent conflict resolution, positive role models and forms of activism and environmental responsibility. Thought-provoking and visually stunning, these stories inspire a way forward based on connecting the traditional with the contemporary.

A Blanket of Butterflies
From the Roots Up
Giju's Gift
The Sockeye Mother
We Dream Medicine Dreams


Resistance is an action. Indigenous stories work to oppose the prejudices and stereotypes that pervade our society through the legacy of colonialism. By reading Indigenous stories, readers join forces with Indigenous storytellers and support this work. Readers can empathize with complex issues affecting Indigenous Peoples, witness Indigenous joy and learn about the robust history of languages, cultures and identities that encompass Indigenous experiences. Many such experiences are taken up in the books that remain to be explored in the HighWater Press catalogue. To discover more, visit