Saskatchewan is home to many acclaimed writers who draw on their Indigenous cultures, languages, and histories to create their poems and plays. Hailing from Ile-à-la-Crosse, Rita Bouvier is a Métis poet and educator whose work is connected to the land and people of the north. In her collections, Blueberry Clouds (1999) and Papîyâhtak (2004), Bouvier blends Cree and Michif languages with English to write about her life and family. Beth Cuthand of the Little Pine First Nation studied poetry with Patrick Lane at the University of Saskatchewan and was later at the University of New Mexico, where she earned an MFA in Creative Writing. Her collections Horse Dance to Emerald Mountain (1987) and Voices in the Waterfall (1992 and 1999) explore the historical and contemporary realities of Indigenous people. Cuthand has also written a children’s book, Little Duck = Sikihpisis (1999), in Cree and English with her father Stan Cuthand as translator and Mary Longman as illustrator. A long-time resident of Saskatoon, Louise Halfe originally hails from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta. Halfe’s experiences at residential school shape her life and her poetry, and motivated her to earn a BSW from the University of Regina as well as certificates in addictions and counselling from the Nechi Institute in Edmonton. Her first collection of poetry, Bear bones & feathers (1994), focuses on trauma and healing while her second, Blue Marrow (1998), gives voice to the nameless Indigenous women whose work sustained the fur trade. Also a long-time resident of Saskatchewan, Randy Lundy was born in northern Manitoba and is a member of the Barren Lands band; he received a BA and MA in English from the University of Saskatchewan. In his first collection of poetry, Under the Night Sun (1999), Lundy writes about love, loss, and longing, and then goes on an exploration of the natural world in his second collection, Gift of the Hawk. A member of the James Smith First Nation, Neal McLeod performs his poetry across the country in a style that combines beatnik and rap. Having edited Coyote, Trickster and Other Stories My Family Never Told Me: An Anthology of Aboriginal Writing in 2000, McLeod will release his own collection of poetry, Songs to Kill a Wîhtikow, in 2005.
Greg Daniels is a Cree Métis playwright from Regina and a member of Gordons First Nation who made his theatrical debut in 1990 with his play 3rd House from the Corner, which he co-wrote with Eugene Stickland. After publishing Blind Girl, Last Night (1991) and Percy’s Edge in DraMétis: Three Métis Plays (2001), Daniels is turning his attention to poetry and a collection is forthcoming. Floyd Favel Starr is a playwright, actor, and director from the Poundmaker First Nation. A fluent speaker of Cree, Favel Starr studied at the Native Theatre School in Ontario, the Tuak Teatret in Denmark, and the Ricerca Theatre in Italy. His plays include House of Sonya (1998), Lady of Silences (1998), Governor of the Dew (1999), and The Sleeping Land (2004).