Shamans, Warriors & Tricksters

Moderator: Jessica Johns

Event Number: 06
Tickets: $20.00

Youth under 30: $15.00
Student Groups: $9.50

Shamans, Warriors & Tricksters

Tuesday, Oct 22
1:00pm - 2:30pm
Waterfront Theatre

1412 Cartwright Street

How do we incorporate ancient teachings into stories that speak to modern life? Aviaq Johnston, Karen McBride and Richard Van Camp discuss drawing from Indigenous stories to create imaginative adventures, in this first Festival event from Guest Curator Tanya Talaga. In Johnston’s Those Who Dwell Below, a young boy must embrace his destiny as a shaman to defeat a vengeful spirit at the bottom of the ocean. McBride’s Crow Winter dances on the boundaries between worlds, as protagonist Hazel is guided by Algonquin demigods to save her home. Van Camp’s humorous depiction of Northern life in Moccasin Square Gardens is studded with legendary monsters—and extraterrestrials. Join them for a conversation about craft that promises to be nothing short of magical.

Presented in partnership with Vancity.





About the moderator:
Jessica Johns is a nehiyaw aunty and member of Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta and is currently living and learning on the traditional territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She is the Managing Editor for Room Magazine, and a co-organizer of the Indigenous Brilliance reading series. Her short story, The Bull of the Cromdale, was nominated for a 2019 National Magazine Award in fiction and her debut poetry chapbook, How Not to Spill, is out with Rahila’s Ghost Press. 


Event Participants:

Aviaq Johnston


Aviaq Johnston‘s debut novel, Those Who Run in the Sky, won the Indigenous Voices Award for Most Significant Work of Prose in English by an Emerging Indigenous Writer in 2018, was a finalist for the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Award for Young People’s Literature, and a 2017 Honour Book for the Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature. She is also the author of the bestselling picture book, What’s My Superpower?


Karen McBride


Karen McBride is an Algonquin Anishnaabe writer from the Timiskaming First Nation in the territory that is now Quebec. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and English, as well as a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa. Most recently, McBride graduated with a Master of Arts in the Field of Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. Crow Winter is her debut novel.


Richard Van Camp

Northwest Territories

Richard Van Camp is an internationally renowned storyteller and best-selling author, a member of the Dogrib (TłĮchǫ) Dene Nation, and was born in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. He is the author of dozens of books, including The Lesser Blessed, a Canadian classic. Van Camp uses oral story-telling skills and traditions to braid together pop culture with TłĮchǫ Dene customs and some Fort Smith grace in his short story collection Moccasin Square Gardens., @richardvancamp