Original Inhabitants, Original Voices

Ali Cobby Eckermann, Witi Ihimaera, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Original Inhabitants, Original Voices

Moderator: Nic Low

Event Number: 33
Tickets: $20.00

Original Inhabitants, Original Voices

Ali Cobby Eckermann, Witi Ihimaera, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson

Wednesday, October 18
8:30pm - 10:00pm
Waterfront Theatre

1412 Cartwright St.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand are all former colonies of Great Britain whose original inhabitants have struggled for equality with the colonizers. Indigenous success in achieving recognition and self-determination. Three Indigenous writers share the stage to talk about their individual experiences and their country’s experiences. Australian poet Ali Cobby Eckermann is part of the “stolen generations,” forcibly taken from her mother when she was a baby. New Zealand’s Witi Ihimaera was the first Mˉaori writer to publish a novel and collection of short stories, then his novel The Whale Rider became an internationally-successful film. Canada’s Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a storyteller, poet and activist who is a powerful voice for modern Indigenous people. What can we learn about making a better world for all?

Presented by Vancity.

Event Participants:

Ali Cobby Eckermann


Ali Cobby Eckermann is an Indigenous Australian writer. Like her mother and grandmother, she is a member of the Stolen Generations a large group of Indigenous children forcibly taken from their parents by the government to be assimilated. In 2017,  Eckermann won the international Windham-Campbell Literary Prize for Poetry. Eckermann also founded Australia’s first Aboriginal Writers Retreat. Her poetry collections, verse novels and memoir have won several literary awards and she has travelled broadly performing her work. Inside My Mother explores the separation and reunion of a mother and child across generations.

Witi Ihimaera

New Zealand

Witi Ihimaera is the first Māori author to publish a collection of short stories and a novel. His work often draws inspiration from his upbringing and portrays Māori culture in the modern world. He is an accomplished writer of memoir, plays and novels. He has worked as a diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cities around the world and was a professor of Māori Literature. His book, The Whale Rider, became an internationally successful film. The first volume of his autobiography, Māori Boy, was recently published and details his early life and the myths that formed this fascinating writer’s imagination.  

Witi Ihimaera’s appearance is made possible by Creative New Zealand

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson


Leanne Betasamosake Simpson is a Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg writer, scholar, musician, and is one of the most compelling Indigenous voices of her generation. She has lectured extensively at universities across Canada and her books are regularly used in courses across North America. Simpson often combines poetry, storytelling, performance and song to create something unique. Her album f(l)ight is a companion piece to her newest collection of stories and poems The Accident of Being Lost. This book challenges the world as we know it by imagining a decolonized reality that appears in fragments and images.