An NWT born author recently received a very prestigious award for her work!
The Periodical Marketers of Canada’s Indigenous Literature Award goes to works and authors that encourage family literacy and the promotion of First Nation, Metis, and Inuit voices and experiences. The recipient of this award is chosen by a jury of Indigenous librarians from across Ontario, as they look for an author who’s work stands as some of the best Indigenous literature.
This year, the Indigenous Literature Award for the Children’s Category has gone to Lisa Boivin, for her book, We Dream Medicine Dreams.
Lisa was kind enough to talk about her book.
“The book is about a granddaughter and grandfather, and she has a dream about a bear, and goes to her grandpa and tells him, and he shares that, as Dene people, that we are delivered knowledge through our dreams, in particular with animals. Grandpa teaches granddaughter to observe the world and learn from the animals, and then take those teachings and put them into her own life.”
The story also features lessons of grief, and learning how to let someone go when they pass on.
Lisa is a member of the Denine Kue First Nation. She explained that she was taken away from her family when she was young, but was able to reunite with her biological father a few years before he passed away. That is how she was able to learn all the lessons that she passed into her book. She was also able to connect with extended members of her family to learn even more about her heritage, learn about the land, and further cherish the lessons she learned from her father.
Lisa then went a little further into those teachings, and shared what they mean to her.
“Other than being a mom, which is actually connected to being Dene, I don’t think there’s anything more important to me in my life than those teachings. So everyday, I wake up, and I pray, and I’m grateful for my place in this beautiful world, and I’m grateful for the teachings that animals and plant life gift to me. In fact, when we look at nature and look at the land, this knowledge actually teaches us to be more human, and that is something that is really powerful.”
On top of her work as an author, Lisa is also an interdisciplinary artist and a PhD candidate at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.