Ogema in conversation with Lee Maracle at Winsor

UBC Master's Candidate Léa Toulouse and Winsor Gallery Present



I Am Woman

March 25, 10:30 am - 11:30 am

Winsor Gallery
258 East 1st Ave
Vancouver, BC

Lee Maracle is a member of the Sto:Lo nation. She was born in Vancouver and grew up on the North Shore and is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Ravensong and Daughters Are Forever. Her novel for young adults, Will’s Garden is taught in schools. The book of poetry, Bent Box, and a work of creative non-fiction, I Am Woman have been well-received.  Her work has been published in anthologies and scholarly journals worldwide. The mother of four and grandmother of seven, Maracle is currently an instructor at the University of Toronto, the Traditional Teacher for First Nation’s House, and instructor with the Centre for Indigenous Theatre and the S.A.G.E. (Support for Aboriginal Graduate Education). She is also a writing instructor at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work promoting writing among Aboriginal Youth, and is the 2014 finalist for the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington.


Originally published in 1988, this literary work first appeared in very rough form aesthetically–the first edition looks to have been copied from a very old typewriter, perhaps even typed by the author herself. Out of print for a number of years, I Am Woman has resurfaced with a beautiful Native design on the cover-a curved woman etched with eyes, waves and meaning holding an orb-like circular mask, globe or earth-a reflection of the author’s brilliance ‘between the covers’. A member of the Stoh:lo Nation, Lee Maracle is a woman who is confronted on a daily basis by the cruel realities of racism and sexism, and is not afraid to challenge and redefine these dominant power structures. Using prose and poetry, she confronts white colonial society with shocking and painful truths that make any person of consciousness re-evaluate their current thinking patterns. Her work is not light reading as issues of gender and race are not light subjects. I Am Woman represents Maracle’s “personal struggle with womanhood, culture, traditional spiritual beliefs and political sovereignty” and as such, is an extremely intimate and revealing work.

Synopsis written by Lesley Graydon.

Graydon, Lesley. "I Am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism." The Peak. The Peak, 2 June 1997. Web. <http://www.the-peak.ca/1997/06/i-am-woman-a-native-perspective-on-sociology-and-feminism/>