At Portage & Main Press/HighWater Press, we are proud to work with incredible, groundbreaking women authors. In honour of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, read about some of our incredible women authors and their accomplishments.
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.
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.
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.
Sara Florence Davidson
Sara Florence Davidson is a Haida educator and scholar with a PhD in Literacy Education. Sara works with teacher candidates and is passionate about helping them 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.
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 on 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.
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. She has a way of forming practical analogies that both are powerful and clear. 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. A follow-up book is expected spring 2021.
Innovative Writers for Children & Young Adults
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. Her latest graphic novel in the A Girl Called Echo series, Northwest Resistance, was published in February 2020. See a full list of her work 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. 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 she also wrote the graphic novel, Fire Starters. To add to the long list of achievements, Jen was a 2017 recipient of CBC Manitoba’s Future 40 under 40.
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. The books use vivid narratives and illustrations in contemporary settings to share stories about an 11-year-old Nakota boy. Look out for the Siha Tooskin Knows series coming in May 2020.
Tasha Spillet-Sumner 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 upcoming book, From the Roots Up, is the sequel to Surviving the City and part of The Debwe series.
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. Because of that, 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.
Inspiring Writers for Adults
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 is currently working on her PhD, and strives to humanize clinical medicine as she situates her art in the Indigenous continuum of passing on knowledge through images. 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. Learn more about her work here.
KC Adams is a Cree/Ojibway/British Winnipeg-based artist and an 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.
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