On Janurary 21st, 2017, The Amerind Foundation convened a presentation entitled “Native Voices: Indigenous American & RED INK Literary Festival”. Seven authors shared their work at the Amerind Museum in Dragoon, Arizona. The event was hosted by Simon Ortiz, an Acoma Pueblo member and award winning Regents Professor in the English Department at Arizona State University.
Today’s first poet is Karen W. Olson. She is Muskaigo Cree from the Peguis First Nation in Manitoba, Canada. It was listening to the kitchen stories of her parents and their friends, grandparents, aunts and uncles which sparked a life-long interest in storytelling.
In the second portion of today’s show, we’ll hear from Ruben Cu:k Ba’ak who is a Tohono O’odham Nation Member. He has been recently published in “Indigenous Stewards,” a publication of the Southwest Health Sciences Center, College of Pharmacy.
This is part 3 of 3 part series recorded and produced by Amanda Shauger.
More on Karen W. Olson.
When she moved away at age 13 to live with her grandmother, the brightest memories of home were often the funny stories, sad stories, and stories of courage…of bravery…of survival. Then came the stories from her grandmother and the Cree people in her life that intrigued and stayed with Karen.
She began writing as a journalist for Indian newspapers and magazines and was an assistant producer at CBC Radio in Winnipeg for several years before succumbing to the creative writing spirit that had been visiting and helping her to write poetry and short stories about the people and events around her. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Victoria in British Columbia in 2002. From 2002 to2009, Karen worked at the En’owkin Centre in Penticton, BC as the Department Head of Creative Writing. Four years ago, she moved to her home community to teach for Red River Community College and University College of the North. Presently, she is a long-distance student at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan and is writing an historical fiction novel as her Master’s Thesis.
Karen has published 4 children’s books with Theytus Books. Her short stories and poetry can be found in several anthologies published in Canada. Karen is also a spoken word artist and has performed and read at the Vancouver Writers Festival, Meadowlark Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, South Okanagan Art Gallery, Kelowna Art Gallery, En’owkin Centre and Penticton Library.