“I want to honour those who have come before me, and prepare a place for those who come after.”
I call myself a Métis writer. I say Métis first because before anything else, I am a proud member of my nation. As a writer, I have education, performance and publishing credits in several genres, including poetry, short fiction, novel, children's literature (early and middle years), documentary film, mixed media and spoken word. My first love is poetry and my first book North End Love Songs (The Muses' Company) won the 2013 Governor General Literary Award for Poetry. This year (2016) I will launch a novel, The Break (House of Anansi) and a short documentary, this river (National Film Board of Canada). Basically, I share stories in whatever medium best facilitates their telling.
My work focuses contemporary Indigenous stories and characters, most often, Indigenous women and girls in urban settings. My goal is to show the beauty and strength of my people as genuinely and as truthfully as possible. In my work, I want Indigenous people to see themselves honestly and authentically portrayed and I want non-Indigenous people to see the humanity and brilliance of my people. In the end, my goal is the same as everyone else - I want to honour those who have come before me, and prepare a place for those who come after.
My education includes a Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and an undergraduate degree in Literature. In addition to writing, I coordinate Indigenous art programs and teach writing in Winnipeg, Canada.
Katherena Vermette is a Metis writer from Winnipeg, Manitoba.