MNO citizen named 2015 Writer in Residence - Aboriginal Experience

Adapted from an article from the Toronto Public Library: http://torontopubliclibrary.typepad.com/news_releases/2015/02/author-cherie-dimaline-named-toronto-public-library-2015-writer-in-residence-aboriginal-experience.html

MNO citizen named 2015 Writer in Residence - Aboriginal Experience - Cherie Dimaline
Cherie Dimaline and guests attend a public event in the
North York Central Library auditorium to announce Cherie’s
plans for residency. (L-R) The Honourable David Zimmer,
MPP for Willowdale and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs; Cherie
Dimaline; Giles Benaway; Lee Maracle; guest; and Deborah
Richardson, Deputy Minister for the Ontario Ministry of
Aboriginal Affairs. (Source: Facebook.)

Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) citizen Cherie Dimaline has been named Toronto Public Library’s first Writer in Residence – Aboriginal Experience, with a focus on exploring and celebrating the Aboriginal experience in Canada. She will take up a four month residency at North York Central Library from March to June 2015.

Cherie Dimaline is an author and editor from the Georgian Bay Métis community, who was named the 2014 Emerging Artist of the Year, Ontario Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. Her first book, a collection of short stories, Red Rooms, was published in 2007 and won the Anskohk Fiction Book of the Year Award. Her novel, The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy, published in 2013, was shortlisted for the 2014 Burt Award. She is also the editor of both FNH Magazine and Muskrat Magazine.

“Cherie’s appointment reflects a strong and growing commitment to storytelling in the Aboriginal voice, supporting the Library’s role in nurturing and building on the rich legacy of oral histories and traditions associated with Toronto’s past.” said City Librarian Vickery Bowles.

Cherie shared her plans for the residency at a public event on Saturday, March 7 at 3:00 pm in the North York Central Library auditorium. Attending guests included the Honourable David Zimmer, MPP for Willowdale and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, and Deborah Richardson, Deputy Minister for the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs.

Stephanie Pangowish and Josh Smoke, traditional drummers and singers, performed at the event, with readings from novelist Lee Maracle and poet Giles Benaway.

During her four month residency, Dimaline will meet individually with aspiring writers to review submitted manuscripts and lead a series of panel discussions and workshops. The workshops will explore topics such as the importance of Indigenous storytelling and the challenges and resources for multicultural Toronto writers and poets. Writers will also have an opportunity to learn more about grants and public reading.

Dimaline’s residency will usher in a month of Aboriginal programming at the library in June 2015 that will celebrate Aboriginal culture in film, music, art, dance and literature at branches across the city. It will also serve as a public forum for issues of national interest, including a panel on Canada’s missing and murdered Aboriginal women hosted by the CBC’s Michael Enright.

The theme for June’s programming, developed by Cherie Dimaline, is Giganawendamin Dibaajimowinan: We Keep the Stories.

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